A Dark Road, a Beauty Queen and A Few Good Men at this summer’s Ensemble Theatre repertory fest

Rebecca Walters (as Chief Constable Isobel McArthur) and Paul Herbert (as Alfred Chalmers) in Ensemble Theatre’s production of Dark Road. Derek Fu photo.

If you’re feeling all musicaled-out from summer theatre offerings like As You Like It, Mamma Mia!, and 42nd StreetEnsemble Theatre has three decidedly unmusical alternatives in its summer repertory series.

Dark Road is the first play from bestselling mystery-thriller writer Ian Rankin. A Few Good Men, written by Aaron Sorkin, inspired the Tom Cruise/Jack Nicholson drama of the same name. And Martin McDonagh’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane is typical of the British-Irish playwright’s mordant sense of humour.

All three are at Jericho Arts Centre (1675 Discovery Street) beginning July 12, with the plays alternating nights. See below for more info.

Dark Road—Twenty-five years after putting a serial killer in jail, Isobel McArthur, Scotland’s first Chief Constable revisits the case. Her decision to interview the killer for the first time in decades rips open old wounds. Dark Road is the first play by Scottish novelist Ian Rankin (creator of Inspector Rebus).

A Few Good Men—First produced on Broadway in 1989, A Few Good Men inspired the Academy Award-nominated film of the same name. It’s based on a true story (events that transpired at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in 1986) and tells the story of two US Marines accused of murder, and the lawyers who uncover a conspiracy that quickly escalates to the highest ranks of the military.

Alexis Kellum-Creer (as Lieutenant Commander Joanne Galloway), Zac Scott (as Lieutenant Daniel Kaffe) and Michael Kiapway (as Lance Corporal Harold Dawson) in Ensemble Theatre’s production of A Few Good Men. Derek Fu photo.

The Beauty Queen of Leenane—Playwright Martin McDonagh is a favourite of Vancouver theatre companies (Cave Canem’s The Lonesome West last year was a recent McDonagh production) and movie audiences (he wrote and directed the hit Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Montana). Set in the mountains of Connemara, Ireland, the 1996 play tells the story of Maureen Folan, and Mag, her mother. When Mag interferes with Maureen’s first (and potentially last) romantic relationship, it sets in motion “events that are as tragically funny as they are horrific,” according to ensembletheatrecompany.ca. “McDonagh’s script expertly teases out dramatic ironies in a tightly twisting plot to great suspense and excruciating comic effect.”

Kirsten Slenning and Tanja Dixon-Warren in Ensemble Theatre’s production of The Beauty Queen of Leenane. Derek Fu photo.

6th Annual Summer Repertory Festival
Ensemble Theatre Company

Dates: July 12 – Aug 17
Venue: Jericho Arts Centre, 1675 Discovery Street, Vancouver, BC
Tickets: from $25 available at ensembletheatrecompany.ca.

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