The plot line for the current Village Playhouse production of Mauritius reads as follows – “The genteel hobby of stamp-collecting? Not when you mix together siblings at war with each other, and a couple of thugs with an unscrupulous offer.”

The two-penny “Post Office” stamp from Mauritius is also known as the “Blue Mauritius”, and for stamp collectors it is one of the most valued in the world. Beyond being one of the first commercial stamps ever printed, what makes this particular one of value is the rarity of it since the majority were recalled due to a printing error during the initial run. The stamp was printed with the words “Post Office”, instead of “Postage”.  So while the premise of this story is real, the characters and situation are fictional based on a novel by Theresa Rebeck. For those who aren’t aware, Maritius is is an island nation in the Indian Ocean about 2,000 kilometres off the southeast coast of Africa.

This was my first time attending a play at the Village Playhouse, despite the venue being around for nearly half-a-century. I would pass by the location on the lower level of the 2100 block along Bloor Street West, and always ponder about stopping by sometime. Well I finally did, and what a great experience. This is the definition of small town theatre within the big city. Leave your pretensions at home, and make your way out west for an entertaining and affordable night out. There’s not a bad seat in the house, as 50 chairs are lined up on an incline toward the back in a triangular set up around the stage. It appeared to me that most in attendance for opening night for season subscribers, and why not with such an affordable program ($85.00 for a series of five shows).

The play itself runs just under two hours with intermission, and there are refreshments served during break. The acting is not of the “Broadway” or “Mirvish” league, however this often adds to the overall intimate feel of the production. It’s almost as if you’re sitting at home with friends playing charades. The actors audition for each production, which is non-union, non-paying, so these individuals onstage are doing it for the love of acting, and that’s what really shines through.

Dennis, Sterling med  Mary, Jackie med  Philip, Dennis, Jackie med

Without giving too much away, I’d suggest ordering yourself a ticket ($22.00), and making a night of it in Bloor West Village. There are plenty of restaurants and pubs along the street for pre-or-post bites and beverages. Also, for the inspiring actor inside of you, auditions for the next production of “The Fox on The Fairway” by Ken Ludwig will be taking place at the theatre on January 27th and 30h. Details here.

MAURITIUS by Theresa Rebeck – January 8 to 30, 2016
Village Playhouse – 2190E Bloor St West (just east of Runnymede Station)
CALL 416-767-7702 FOR RESERVATIONS

TICKETS:
Adult — $22.00
Student — anytime $18.00 (must show card)
Child under 12 — $18.00
Senior (Wed/Thurs/Sun only) — $18.00
Group rate $18.00 — (10 or more people on Wed, Thurs, or Sun only. Must be pre-paid)

Special Events

Thursday, January 28, 2016 at 8:00 pm (Talk-Back Night)
Saturday, January 30, 2016 at 8:00 pm (Closing Night)

Facebook Event Page
Director: Mike Hiller

CAST:
Rebecca De La Cour as Jackie
Tina Mcculloch as Mary
Robert Woodcock as Sterling
Derek Perks as Dennis
Douglas Tindal as Philip

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.