St. Luke’s whodunit will keep audiences guessing

Agatha Christie mystery A Murder is Announced runs Oct. 12 to 23 at St. Luke's Hall

Peter Gatt is making his St. Luke’s Players directorial debut with A Murder is Announced

Peter Gatt is making his St. Luke’s Players directorial debut with A Murder is Announced

If you’re a fan of the fictional crime boardgame Clue, you might like the first offering in the St. Luke’s Players 2016-17 season, A Murder is Announced.

The Agatha Christie whodunit returns to the St. Luke’s stage for its third time, kicking off Oct. 12 and keeping audiences guessing through Oct. 23. The show is a clever murder-mystery, set in the 1950s, and follows a cast of 11 characters who all try to determine who the killer is after an ad in the local newspaper notifies them of an impending murder at the Little Paddocks cottage.

“There’s lots of finger pointing in the script and lots of people saying cheeky things like death-related jokes,” said director Peter Gatt. “They’re fun pokes that you get to do in a show like this.

“It’s a lot of whodunit and it’s a small house, so nothing is really a secret – someone is always listening.”

Gatt, 28, is making his St. Luke’s directorial debut with A Murder is Announced. He studied directing at the Canadian College of Performing Arts and took his first role with the community theatre group in last year’s Opening Night, portraying a waiter at a local theatre who wants to make it as an actor and gets his chance when a cast member passes out on stage.

“I made a very energetic impression,” he said. “They emailed out looking for a director, and I was like, ‘Sure, why not?’ Before I knew it, they OK’d my pitch and they gave me the show.”

A Murder is Announced features a wide cast of characters – and suspects – including lady of the house Letitia Blacklock, Insp. Dermot Craddock, Col. Archie Esterbrook, housekeeper Mitzi and spinster detective Miss Marple, a recurring character in Christie’s crime novels.

“The whole show, you’re turning over rocks and uncovering what’s going on,” said Gatt. “You find weird character secrets and things start to unfold. With any luck, the audience starts guessing.”

Gatt said he hopes the show keeps audiences guessing until the very end, noting it’s been a lot of fun for the cast to rehearse leading up to the opening night.

“We’re honouring the real British murder-mystery style,” said Gatt. “It’s a challenge directing, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

“I just want people to come here and have fun.”

A Murder is Announced runs at St. Luke’s Hall, 3821 Cedar Hill Cross Rd., from Oct. 12 to 23. The show runs nightly at 7:30 p.m. from Oct. 12 to 15 and 19 to 22, with 2 p.m. matinees on Oct. 15, 16, 22 and 23. Tickets are $16 each and are available at the door, online at eventbrite.ca (search “St. Luke’s Players”) or in person at The Papery, 669 Ford St., open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, visit stlukesplayers.org.