Don’t Misunderstand Me may be a playful show about trickery and deceit between friends, but for the group of real–life friends putting on the British comedy, their bond is what got this production off the ground to begin with. Act 4’s first show as a theatre company came out of a shared love of theatre between the new company’s four founding members, Carla Zabek, Andy Dumas, Julian Ford, and Steph Christiaens. All veterans of the stage, the friends decided to explore their passion in a new way.
“We were looking for a script that would enable the four of us to work together closely, with the opportunity for us all to interact on stage. Don’t Misunderstand Me provided us exactly that,” says Zabek, who stars as Margery, a wife who’s husband had a secret affair, and who has secrets of her own. “After reading the script, we all decided that it was funny, but would require good on–stage chemistry to make it work, something we felt our friendships would help us to deliver. As well, there seems to be a trend of certain plays being ‘done to death’ in theatre circles. Don’t Misunderstand Me is well written, witty play that hasn’t been produced that often.”
All that was left for the foursome was to find a fifth player to take on the remaining female role. It’s not always easy to bring someone new into an established group, but Jaclyn Scobie managed to fit right in.
“On the first night we met her, we instantly knew she was perfect for this project,” says Zabek. “She fit right in with our crazy sense of humour, it felt as though she had known us all as long as we had known each other.”
But the members of Act 4 are far from alone in their crazy sense of humour. The play itself is a zany romp filled with false identities, hidden secrets, and, well, misunderstandings. When his one–time extramarital fling shows up at his front door, the happily married Charles (Ford) enlists the help of his brother Robert (Dumas) to help cover up his past indiscretions from his wife, leading to a series of hilarious escapades.
“Although it was written in the ’80s, its subject matter is still relevant and there would likely be some relatable moments for the audience,” says Zabek. “There are also many clever, witty and near tongue twister lines which should tickle the funny bone, and the play is rife with misunderstandings which inflate the humour. The characters are unique and likeable in their own individual ways. Despite marital infidelity, the play resolves the way it should.”
Directed by Peter Lloyd, Don’t Misunderstand Me will run at Theatre Burlington, outside it’s regular season, as part of a collaboration with Act 4. Unlike the characters in the play itself, the four friends behind the company understand each other’s intentions just fine, and those intentions are to create fun theatre in each other’s company. V
DON’T MISUNDERSTAND ME
Written by: Patrick Cargill
Directed by: Peter Lloyd
Produced by: Carla Zabek
Playing at: Theatre Burlington
2311 New Street, Burlington
Showdates: May 23-25 and May 30 - June 1 @ 8pm;
or Box Office 905–639–7700