A well-deserved standing ovation was given to the cast and crew of Scarborough Theatre Guild’s final show of the season, The Mumberley Inheritance by Warren Graves.
It’s an hilarious, exhaustingly funny show that showcases the sheer talent and comedic ability of the cast, and a throwback to classic storytelling, in a show the whole family can enjoy.
Set in Mumberley Manor in Suffolk, England at the turn of the century, this show genre mimics the style of pantomime and silent film, and also has improv and cartoon-like characters that are larger-than-life.
This interactive, audience-involved show that breaks the fourth wall contains classic storytelling elements such as a damsel in distress, a villain who threatens to destroy her family and heroes who must save the day.
A large projector prompts the audience to boo, hiss and cheer accordingly, and the actors are constantly addressing the audience, and feeding off their reactions.
The story follows the Mumberley family, daughter Daphne (Nicole Marie McCafferty), the patriarch, Sir Roger (Gregory Hertel), and Jack (Dylan Maloney), who hasn’t been seen in years as he’s away trying to find out where the Mumberley inheritance is hidden in order to help Roger who is in dire straits financially.
Financial trouble, a beautiful daughter and a father who is aging and has no one to help him is an invitation for a wealthy villain to arrive, in this case, the dastardly Mr. Marmaduke Mayhem (Damien Gulde), to take advantage of the family’s hardship.
Rodney Stoutheart (Brad Finch), Daphne’s intended, and Jack (if he ever returns), are the only ones who can save them.
However, Marmaduke, with the help of his unwilling sidekick Crispin Cringe (Martin Kelly), is determined to marry the beautiful Daphne and acquire Mumberley Manor.
Will evil prevail? Will someone save the day? It doesn’t really matter because it is such an enjoyable show to watch that the ending becomes irrelevant.
The humour in this show is over-the top, and the plot becomes more ridiculous as it goes along. There are continual plot twists – such as the unlikely budding affair between Crispin and the Mumberley’s maid, Dotty (Catherine Meyer), and nurse Polly’s (Polina Kheifets) sordid past with the long-lost Jack. Director Mike Ranieri did an amazing job of directing and casting this show. Every detail, from the addition of the live pianist (Jeff Rosenthal) and the gorgeously-constructed set of Mumberley Manor, is impressive.
McCafferty portrays Daphne with the perfect balance or innocence, flightiness and charm and her comedic timing is amazing. Hertel as Rodger, Finch as Rodney, Kelly as Crispin and Maloney as Jack also exude amazing comedic talent. Individually and as an ensemble, they are a pleasure to watch onstage.
The other ladies in this show, Meyer as Dotty and Kheifets as Polly, are also fantastic, and their characters, while less vocal, are an integral part of the comedy.
When you have a villain that you want to kill off, you may not want to cast Gulde in the role. He is so talented, funny and incredible in this role you’ll want him to succeed just to see him continue to perform.
Take your friends and your family and go see this show. You won’t be disappointed, and you will leave feeling better from having laughed so much.
The Mumberley Inheritance runs until June 19, 8 p.m., with 2 p.m. matinees on June 14 and 20, at the Scarborough Village Theatre, 3600 Kingston Rd. Tickets are $20. To order, call the box office at 416-267-9292 or visit www.theatrescarborough.com