Sleuth – Vertigo Theatre

On Theatre Thursdays, I discuss topics related to theatre. I also write about local productions that I think #yyc should see. Today I’m talking about one of the many holiday productions currently running – Sleuth

Sleuth Poster lovingly stolen from Vertigo Theatre. Photography credit to Tim Nguyen.
Poster lovingly stolen from Vertigo Theatre. Photography credit to Tim Nguyen.

My friends! Do you know what snuck up on me so quickly this year? December! And by “December”, I mean “Blogmas”.

My November was incredibly ambitious. I truly thought I would write every day during the month for Nanowrimo, chronicle what we were doing at Riverona rehearsals, actually produce/director/act in Riverona, and have a social life?! Oh Erin, you sweet summer child.

Blogmas seems easy in comparison. 

And it’s especially easy when I have a fantastic theatre production to kick the season off with… Vertigo Theatre’s production of Sleuth

So, What’s Sleuth all about?

Great question! Sleuth is a classic two-hander about power, control, and mystery. Eccentric mystery writer, Andrew Wyke (Christopher Hunt), invites his new neighbour  Milo (Brandon Griffiths), over to his isolated country home. That’s not a suspicious move at all, right? Just normal neighbourly things.

Except we discover extremely quickly that Milo has been carrying on an affair with Wyke’s (ex???)-wife. And you know any man in a play who writes mystery novels is definitely not going to do anything normal with that information… 

Sleuth is the ultimate cat-and-mouse play. Two clever men, exchanging witticisms and one-upping each other, leaving you wondering who ultimately has the power. Who has unraveled the other’s plans and will come up on top? Who will win the game?

Oh, and there’s also a woman in this play. For a little bit, at least. Helen Knight does fantastic work and is so fun, but she’s literally on stage for about 15 minutes.

Why should I see Sleuth?

Because any show that involves Christopher Hunt dancing is pure magic. (IFKYK, I’m a huge Chris Hunt fan and I’ve been talking about him dancing on the socials for years.) 

Chris and Braden are both powerhouse performers and they can carry the show, even if I joke about Helen being the token woman. (But honestly! Helen does a great job! The show just doesn’t give her a ton to do which is truly too bad. And there is a reveal with her character that I don’t super love – I think it very much lives in it’s 1970s home.)

Two-handers can often feel swallowed up by a large stage or get stagnant, but Cherissa Richards’ direction keeps the show active and engaging. The two actors fill the beautiful stage designed by Andy Moro. (Two levels! There are two levels! I love a set with stairs!)

Final Thoughts

This is maybe the weirdest thing I have ever said – Sleuth was really well done and I really liked it and I also was a little bit bored. 

At one point during the script, they mention Amelia Peabody and I spent so much time wondering if that was a time period appropriate reference. (Amelia Peabody is one of my very favourite fictional female detectives who 100% deserves a film or stage adaptation which she hasn’t yet gotten. So I’m also very biased.)

But the performances are also so good and it was so engaging. Maybe I’m over-simplifying it, but I think the script is just a bit wordy for my taste. (I know. I literally write a blog, which is only words.) So, if you love character and dialogue-driven theatre that is on the lighter side, this is the show for you. The best thing about theatre is that taste is personal, we don’t all rave over the same things, we don’t all get distracted over the same things. 

You should see this show and decide for yourself. Tell me why I’m basic, beauties. 

I’m in! How do I see it?

Well, I’m glad you asked! The show runs until December 17th and tickets can be purchased by visiting their website or calling (403) 221 3708. Do it, yo!

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