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Mrs. Reynolds and The Ruffian – A Live Play
The Mercury Players are presenting Mrs. Reynolds and the Ruffian, a drama by Welsh Playwright Gary Owen , about a lonely but determined senior, trying to keep her neighbourhood clean and friendly, and the menacing young man who vandalizes her cherished garden and the local street. When Mrs. Reynolds first agrees to let Jay (the Ruffian) work out his community “payback” by restoring her flowerbeds, there is much hostility on both sides. However, human beings are complex and neither imagines the unlikely relationship that develops.
In a world where we often think only in tweets or headlines, Mrs. Reynolds and the Ruffian gives the audience an opportunity to look at the bigger picture and ask ourselves what happens when we try to break down barriers between people and get involved with each other’s struggles. Is it worth it to try to help each other and improve the community? It’s a story with hope.
Local actor Connor Lachmanec, who recently appeared with Shawnigan Players in The Crucible , plays the streetwise Jay, a troubled youth who endured a violent childhood. Lachmanec sees the play as “a universal story about redemption. There’s a lot of intergenerational fighting nowadays. So it’s cool to see the friendship between an older and younger person. It’s also very relevant because, as the kids in the cast were telling us, there’s people doing (vandalism) like this -burning their high school bathrooms and stuff. I think it resonates. ”
While the play is a drama, there are lots of humorous moments too. At a meeting with Mrs. Reynolds, Jay scoffs to social worker, Cassie, (played by Julia Lalonde) “Where’d you get her, Antiques Roadshow?”
Also appearing in Mrs Reynolds and the Ruffian is Leslie Sanchez as Mrs. Reynolds, Dayna Corbett as Jay’s love interest, Mel, and Cowichan Secondary School students Ella Dupuy and Presley Anderson, who play Jay’s delinquent pal, Kieran, at alternating performances.
Director, Mary Louise Phillips, states “For me personally, working with emerging talent from the school community is both a delight and an education.” Phillips further remarks ” …this play, with its young performers interpreting very contemporary adult themes, poses a challenge for them, for me, and the audience to explore new territory.”
Warning: Mrs. Reynolds and the Ruffian contains adult themes and strong language.
Mrs. Reynolds and the Ruffian runs April 13, 14, 15, 20 & 21 at 7:30 pm and April 15, 22, & 23 at 2:30 pm at the Duncan United Church Hall at 246 Ingram Street. Tickets are $22 for general admission and $17 for students/seniors, with April 13 Opening Night Special 2 tickets for only $30. Tickets are online at eventbrite.ca, in person from Ten Old Books and at the door.