Silver Dagger – a mystery fiction writer has his novel become reality in his own life – on stage Nov 11 to Dec 3, 2022 (Toronto)
In Silver Dagger, Steve Marsh is a successful mystery writer living in the Rosedale neighbourhood of Toronto, and a recent winner of the coveted Silver Dagger Award. Soon after his third novel is published, Marsh’s wife receives a series of phone calls and letters that threaten to destroy their marriage. Adultery, blackmail, murder, and a figure lurking in the rain. All these elements of Marsh’s fiction become part of his life as the mystery’s twists and turns, perhaps a bit too much.
This is basically one of those “who done it” mysteries, with the added twist of “are they dead”? This is community theatre in a small venue, with a small stage, so there are limitations on what can be done. The majority of the performance takes place in the living room of Steve and Pam’s luxury estate property, set during the 1980s. It appears there’s trouble within the couple’s life, with Steve being aloof, and Pam being suspicious, for good reason. The house was inherited by Pam, and her lawyer friend Jane cautions her about prenuptial agreements, with Steve not really pulling his fare share on a writer’s salary.
Eventually, the mistress is discovered, and Steve has to convince Pam otherwise. What ensues is a ball of confusion, with the mistress having a sister, and Steve having a mechanic buddy, who all become involved in a tangled web of deceit and deception. The play is overly long, clocking in at well over two hours (with intermission), and the usual slapstick hilarity that ensues from these type of productions never really materializes. Instead, it ends up being quite messy, leaving one wondering, what the hell is actually going on. Which, maybe is what it’s supposed to do.
The theatre was recently outfitted with new COVID-friendly enhancements, such as outside air ventillation, and there are specific dates where the audience is capped at 50% capacity. There are also a couple matinee performances. Be sure to buy tickets for the 50/50 draw that helps support the theatre operations. On stage until December 3, 2022. For a list of upcoming productions for 2022/23 season, click here. Full season subscription information can be found here.
by David French
(November 11 to December 3, 2022)
Director: D. Jay Elektra
Producers: Anne Harper, Bill Hammond
Deena Baltman as Pam Marsh
Lawrie Carruthers as Jane Talbot
Gavin Magrath as Tony Bishop
Audrey Amar as Chris Dodd
Alex Stamp as Steve Marsh
Grace Emily Miller as Gemma Dodd
David French, the playwright….
Mr. French (1939-2010) was one of Canada’s most popular and critically-acclaimed playwrights. He is best remembered for the semi-autobiographical Mercer plays, such as Leaving Home, which chronicle generations of a Newfoundland family with humour and pathos. The Mercer plays have received hundreds of productions across North America, including a Broadway production of Of the Fields, Lately. This quintet of plays has also touched audiences in Europe, South America and Australia. His backstage comedy Jitters has been performed all over the continent, and most of his plays have had successful international runs, including two Broadway productions. His body of work also includes translations of Chekhov’s The Seagull and Strindberg’s Miss Julie. In 1989, David French was inducted into the Newfoundland Arts Hall of Honour, and in 2001 he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Village Players’ second-ever play was David French’s Leaving Home (1974), followed by Salt-Water Moon (1993 & 2004), and Of the Fields, Lately (2006)
D. Jay Elektra, the director:
D. Jay is a writer, actor, performer, musician, composer, creator, director and euro-style DJ; she believes life is expressed through rhythm. From ballet, jazz pas de deux, hip hop and flamenco training to musical performance, Elektra is obsessed with evolution, fragility, decay and the loss of innocence.
During the early pandemic, D. Jay directed various cyber-reads for Alumnae Theatre. Earlier, she had been assistant director for their production of Top Girls and director of Mark My Worms at Newmarket International One Act Play Festival. She also scripted, directed and acted in About Clear, a response piece to Jordan Tannahill’s Declarations written and performed for RePLAY, at Canadian Stage (Tannahill wrote Village Players’ award-winning 2019 production of Late Company.)
Her theatre education includes a directing course with Diego Matamoros, text interpretation with Peter Hinton-David, acting/directing with RH Thomson, a Shakespeare Masterclass with Benedict Campbell, various courses at both Dalhousie University and University of Toronto, and flamenco with the Paula Moreno Spanish Dance Company.
In June 2022 D. Jay directed Jean Paul Sartre’s No Exit for Theatre Aurora. Silver Dagger will be her first involvement with Village Players.
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.