Big cast for Many Hats Death by Design

One of the largest ensemble casts takes the stage Nov. 10 with British farce Death by Design.

Big cast for Many Hats Death by Design

With eight actors, Many Hats theatre is set to debut one of their largest casts to date.

The cast and crew are taking on the British farce Death by Design by New York-based playwright Rob Urbinati.

Set during a weekend in an English country manor in 1932, Death by Design follows playwright Edward Bennett and his wife Sorel, an actress, as they flee London after a disastrous opening night only to have various guests arrive unexpectedly.

A murder mystery opens up a whodunit scenario, but as director Jane Pilkey puts it “it’s more comedy than anything.”

“Lots of one-liners, a very Noel Coward kind of play, fast-paced one-liners with the crazy characters on stage” Pilkey said.

The challenge has not been the size of the cast for her.

“The cast members are all really awesome actors, they’re really good at what they do, so that made my life a lot easier,” Pilkey said.

The logistics of having eight actors on stage at some points, and working on blocking, where actors are in the proper spots at the right time, has been a bit trickier.

“We have such little space there. It’s been a challenge to make sure everyone is visible and all that kind of stuff,” said director Jane Pilkey.

She likened the process to choreographing a dance, making sure actors aren’t running into each other with so much going on at once.

The ensemble cast includes Monika Keetch, Jim Wood, Kim Russell, Christa Phillips, Rob McCaffery, Vance Potter, Martin Pedersen and Shannon French.

Death by Design debuts on Nov. 10 and runs until Dec. 3. Tickets are available at The Nest & Nectar in the Cannery Trade Centre or by calling 250-493-7275. Show times are 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday with Sunday matinees starting at 2 p.m.

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