A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder

This year’s musical production of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder continued an emphasis carried over from earlier productions encouraging a wide array of passions and skills.
Naturally, the musical required dedication and polishing of the vocal talents, many of whom had never sung before. Emily Johnson skillfully encouraged both the budding and experienced voices in coordination with a precision pit band. Support from Doug Jamieson, Tom Wade-West and Gary Martin made for a strong ensemble effort that had audiences humming the infectious tunes as they left the theatre. The clever melody of “I Don’t Understand the Poor” sung by Greg Costigan underscored the parody so well acted by the cast that one could not help draw connections to current royal tribulations. The romantic turn of the story was charmingly interwoven as the lead, Nick Vassos, took turns swinging on swings with, and shutting doors on, his conflicted love interests as he struggled to capitalize on the demise of all who stood (and fell) before him in the line of succession to become Lord of Highhurst castle. 
 
Effective lighting and set designs brought out the highly ornate Edwardian setting thanks to the tech team led by Joey Lisser. The comedy was enhanced by the prop and set work led by Leanne Mladen, including intricate double doors built by Wyatt Carling and Marcus Hine used in a madcap hide and seek scene that left audiences gasping watching Monty Nararro (Vassos) narrowly escape detection for his double-dealing. Only the portrait of the anti-hero’s mother painted by Myles Vivares knew the full truth.

Many hands supported this production, and the RSGC students were very lucky to have the contributions from UTS and St. Clements students. Indeed, many lessons were imparted in this caper, including Charlie Coke’s warning for beekeepers in a hilarious scene and Jackson Shibley’s character’s fate skating blithely on thin ice. Next year’s production is certain to offer more lessons from the Black Box Theatre. 

By Dr. Christopher Newton


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