On September 30, the Gordon Mihan play The Great Beaverbrook Caper was staged inside the Beaverbrook Art Gallery as part of their free Family Art Day performances.
Playwright Gordan Mihan is a veteran of the NotaBle Acts Theatre Festival, held in Fredericton since 2002. He has been participating for the last five years. The Great Beaverbrook Caper was written as a site-specific project at Fredericton’s internationally-renowned Beaverbrook Art Gallery.
Directed by Robin Whittaker, Mihan’s play took place in the Elizabeth E. Currie Gallery on the Green, opened last year. Robin Whittaker is an associate professor at St. Thomas University and faculty advisor for Theatre St. Thomas. He first directed The Great Beaverbrook Caper at the NotableActs Theatre Festival held in Fredericton in August of 2018.
Returning cast included local actors Scott Harris as Sanderson, the veteran Beaverbrook security guard, and Robert Joy as Darcy, the wide-eyed new recruit. Telina Debly stepped into the role of Cat Burglar, the cunning criminal attempting to steal the precious Dali painting, Santiago El Grande, one of the Beaverbrook’s biggest treasures.
The trio of actors did an amazing job bringing Mihan’s characters to life for the audience. The witty dialogue and exaggerated physicality kept the audience laughing. The play’s self-awareness and its satirical take on the heist storylines made it incredibly entertaining to watch. The surprise twist at the play’s end added even more enjoyment to the piece.
The play had minimal props and set design, opting to use the existing beautiful Elizabeth E. Currie Gallery as the main setting and a reproduction of the famous Dali piece as the central prop.
Actor Robert Joy said, “It was really cool getting to perform inside [The Beaverbrook Gallery]. Everyone was really awesome to work with.”
The play’s success with the audience should surely encourage the NotaBle Acts group, founded and led by Artistic Director Len Falkenstein, to bring theatre to more unconventional settings, outside of the Festival period.
The next Beaverbrook Gallery Family Art Day will be held on Oct. 28, 2018.
Shanthi Bell is a UNB Arts 3000 Intern with the NB Media Coop studying psychology and media arts and cultures.