Out and About
Fox on the Fairway – A Play About Balls and Holes
The intimate Village Playhouse Theatre in Bloor West Village, ends its 2015/16 season with a farcical tale about golf, gambling, and guffaws. “Fox On the Fairway” was written by Ken Ludwig as a tribute to the great English farces of the 1930s and 1940s. Director Katherine Bignell-Jones accepted the challenge of bringing the story to stage under one circumstance – that the play combine elements of not only English farce, bur French and American as well. The result is a non-stop display of swinging doors, missed connections, intentional over-the-top dramedy, and all around good time that keeps the audience chuckling.
The cast is nothing but stellar on stage, not missing a cue as they dash from one comical situation to another, with one-liners and double-ententres a plenty. Justin Hicks (Conor Ling) proves to be the most flexible of the lot, not only with his twists, turns, flips, and follies, but with his ability to shed his clothes in record time of being hired, and almost fired, from the swanky Quail Valley Country Club. Often hysterical Louise Heindbedder (Kristie Paillé), Hicks’ on-again, off-again fiancée wants nothing better than a perfect wedding and life of bliss.
When sleazebag Dickie Bell (Richard Hoffman) sets his eyes on a piece of land owned by the wife of Country Club owner Henry Bingham (Steve Ness), a bet is placed on the outcome of a prestigious golf tournament. Thinking it’s a shoo-in win, Bingham bets a large sum of money, and his wife’s antique shop, not knowing that Hoffman made a last minute grab for one of Quail’s top golfers. Booze chugging, hyper sexual Pamela Peabody (Whitney Alexander), the former wife of Bell, opts to help Bingham win at any cost to get even with that “two timing… explicit vulgarity” ex of hers.
In act two, goofy Hicks finally gets chosen to be the new Quail contender, averaging 69 or thereabouts on good days, but his tender emotions can go from one extreme to the next depending on the situation at hand, thereby affecting his (golf) performance. Heindbedder kisses his (golf) balls for good luck, but then loses her heirloom wedding ring that has been in Hicks family for forty years. Muriel Bingham (Allyson Landy) also shows up to find her husband is no longer in love with her, but perhaps in love with Peabody, which doesn’t matter because she herself might have a thing for Dickie Bell. All the while the last thing Bingham and Peabody want is for Heindbedder to blurt out to Hicks about the ring, throwing him off his (golf) stroke. A wild romp of intrigue and inception entails, with hyperactive Heindbedder saving the day in the end.
A must see production, and here’s not a weak (golf) link on the set, from the actors to the director and producers, Theresa Arneaud and Steve Minnie.
Fox On the Fairway runs until May 14 at 8 p.m. (with Sunday matinees May 1 and 8 at 2 p.m.), at the Village Playhouse, 2190 Bloor St. W. Individual tickets $22 at 416-767-7702 or visit
The 2016/17 season presents an all Canadian series of classic stories in honour of Canada’s 150th anniversary next year. It begins with Michel Tremblay’s “Les Belles-Soeurs”, also directed by Katherine Bignell-Jones, and featuring a cast of 15 women taking stage! More information here.
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.