Repertory Philippines Presents Ken Ludwig's The Game's Afoot

by - January 23, 2016

For the past eight months, I have the good opportunity to watch more plays than I normally do. There is so much excitement in watching live theater that I find it a difficult task to write a review for it. I mean, there’s so much thrill involve in just being a spectator and enjoying the performance before you but to be a critic and analyzing what is going on is really a bummer for me.

A week ago, I had the utmost delight of watching Ken Ludwig’s The Games’s Afoot, performed exquisitely by the pillars of theater community, actors that you only read about in newspaper because going to a play and watching it is expensive.

The Game’s Afoot was performed at the Greenbelt Theater Onstage at Greenbelt 1. As the plays open, I was immediately awed by the stage setting.

The story begins in December 1936, and Broadway star William Gillette, admired the world over for his leading role in the play Sherlock Holmes, is placed in the middle of a murder mystery. The show opens with the final scene of a Sherlock Holmes play and as the cast takes their bow, shot rings out from the audience and Gillette is hit in the shoulder. It seems someone is attempting to murder him. Gillette recuperates in his new palatial home in Connecticut under the care of his mother. It being Christmas time, he invites his fellow cast members to his mansion for a weekend of revelry.

And this where the excitement of the play finally begins, what ensues during the start of that Christmas weekend as they learned that a series of mysterious death has happened lately, most notable is the doorman at the theater’s. Gillette, played by veteran Paul Holmes, aims to expose the killer who he has deduced is a cast member and when one of his weekend guests is stabbed to death, Gillete assumed his beloved Sherlock Holmes role. There are only eight characters in this play; there is no troupe of actors to take away your attention, and all of them are a joy to watch.

Each actors is worth watching, and as you try to guess whodunit, believe me, there’s instances when you immediately change your mind; is it his best friend Felix Geisel (Jeremy Domingo)and his wife Madge (Christine Flores), or is it the ex lover Aggie Wheeler (Mica Pineda) who just got married to another cast member Simon Bright (Hans Eckstein)? Or is it really his mother Martha (Joy Virata)?and lastly is it this peculiar female detective, Inspector Goring (Natalie Everett), who had a desire to act in Shakesperean roles and waste no time in showing this to Gillette?

The two actors who stand out in the play are Ms. Joy Virata who played Gillette’s mother and Ms. Pinky Amador as the controversial columnist. Their comedic timing is so impeccable and even if Ms. Amador is dead during the play, she could still make you laugh.

In addition, I jjust so love the Gillette palatial home. So lovely.  I’ve read that the set was designed by no less than the play’s director Mr. Miguel Faustmann.

Moreover, the lightning and sound design added to the suspense and drama. And the clothing costume makes you want to wear that 1930s kind of thing.

I salute Mr. Faustman as he was able to put together this outstanding ensemble as their cohesiveness is very much evident. It is certainly both impressive and admirable.

I’m egging you on to go see this play. It’s hilarious, wonderful and fun overall. Let’s all support live theater. This Repertory Philippines’ rendition of The Games Afoot is something you shouldn’t miss. And this is a one in a lifetime event where the ensemble of Ms. Joy Virata, Paul Holmes, Ms. Pinky Amador, Jeremy Domingo, Christine Flores, Mica Pineda, Natalie Everett and Hans Eckstein is seen.

Ken Ludwig’s The Game’s Afoot runs from January 15 to February 7 at the Greenbelt Onstage, Greenbelt 1. For tickets call 843 3570 and 891 9999.

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