Misunderstandings, dual meanings, Freudian slips: the little things that cause big problems.
That’s exactly what “Self Help” — one of the plays that the Kimberley Summer Theatre is putting on this summer — is talking about. But with a healthy helping of adult humour.
“It involves two actors who decide to make a lifestyle change and become self help gurus,” said Tanya Laing Gahr, who’s directing the play.
“When things don’t end up being the way they seem to be, they have to try and protect their image.
“That’s the tension in the play — the desire to keep up the image.”
This is something almost everyone can relate to: No really! This isn’t what it looks like …
“It’s a farce, which means it’s super hilarious and full of physical comedy,” Laing Gahr said. “There’s some really bold and some really sneaky humour, which I really like.”
With this play, in combination with “The Wizard of Oz,” Kimberley Summer Theatre is bringing something a bit new to the table for the upcoming season. The pairing of a musical with a farce is a recent strategy. Two years ago was the first time, with “Lend Me a Tenor” serving as the farce and “Secrets Every Smart Traveller Should Know” as the musical.
“Before that, I think they had mainly focused on musicals. I really love this straight play strategy,” Laing Gahr said.
But that’s not the only thing that makes “Self Help” stand out. Unlike some of the other plays that she has read, Laing Gahr said that she was immediately attracted to the particular humour in the play.
“It was one of the first plays that I’ve read where I was laughing out loud as I was reading through it,” she said.
The play, which was written by Canadian playwright Norm Foster, is a farce. Laing Gahr said that this form of theatre is underrated and dismissed most of the time, for lack of “depth.” But she encourages people to let go of that stigma.
“The timing and precision in farces is the most important thing,” she said. “So you’ve almost got a symphony of comedy going on.”
But Laing Gahr says she would not bring her kids to this one.
“There is definitely some language that gets used, some adult themes — I think that’s the way that it’s best put,” she said.
But on top of finding one of the best plays around, Laing Gahr said that she couldn’t have asked for a better cast and production team.
“I think the level of quality is going to be unparalleled in the Kootenays,” she said.
Tickets for the suggestive and fast-paced “Self Help” are already on sale but Laing Gahr said that they are getting snatched up quickly.
“I just got word yesterday that we sold out two nights,” Laing Gahr said. “That’s pretty exciting, you know, to be still two months out from performance and having that going on.
“I think there is going to be a rush for tickets, and I’m excited about that because I think people are going to love this play.”
The play opens on July 9 and runs until July 27 from Tuesday to Saturday in the evening with matinees on both Wednesday and Saturday.
Tickets can be bought at the Centre 64 in Kimberley, 64 Deer Park Avenue. The centre is open from 1 to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays to Saturdays.
“I think that these are going to be the best productions ever put on by the Kimberley Summer Theatre,” Laing Gahr said, also referring “The Wizard of Oz.”