© Frank Gale
Rachel Huys, left, and Nancy White rehearse a scene from “Giovanni’s Women,” School Zone of St. John’s entry in this year’s Provincial Drama Festival.
The School Zone’s rendition of R.D. Hamilton’s “Giovanni’s Women” hit the stage at the Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Drama Festival in Stephenville on Tuesday. The production was adapted for the stage by Christopher Tobin, who sets the show in a secluded area of Bell Island.
Due to the overlapping genres, this play is sure to appeal to a wide audience since it incorporates aspects of a comedy and murder mystery.
“Giovanni’s Women” tells the story of a disloyal husband, John, portrayed by Chris Hibbs, who gets caught by his wife in a web of lies surrounding his numerous affairs. The wife, Penny, played by Nancy White, forces her husband to confess. The end result is that Penny forms a devious plot of revenge involving three of his mistresses.
The director, Fabian O’Keefe, supported by a well-rounded cast, kept the play in constant balance. The audience was frequently shocked by sporadic turns of events, while also erupting in fits of laughter.
John kick-started the show with a commanding monologue that began with denying an affair and ended with a confession, begging his wife to spare his life because he “needed help.” His wife remained in a calm, silent rage, giving the actor playing John an opportunity to showcase his talent.
The introduction to the three mistresses started off slow in comparison to the beginning of the show; the energy and character development picked up considerably the moment that Amy, played by Heather Phillipps took the stage. These three actresses then worked together like a well-oiled machine.
All technical aspects were executed brilliantly. The preshow music was incorporated into the sound at the top of the show, which provided a seamless transition. The entire soundtrack was composed of brilliant song choices that suited the mood. What truly took the audience’s collective breath away was the use of special effects to achieve an alarmingly realistic blood splatter.
Audiences will certainly be compelled to continue supporting this province’s talent given the quality of performances thus far at the provincial drama festival.
The festival continues tonight at 8 p.m. with the Carol Players of Labrador West’s performs “Everybody Loves Opal” by John Patrick.
Emily House is from Stephenville/Robinsons and is a graduate of Memorial University Grenfell Campus’ theatre program