The Number 14
An Axis Theatre Company Production
Presented by The Arts Club
Directed by Roy Surette
Granville Island Stage: March 31st - May 8th
by Frank C. Scott
Axis Theatre Company's international hit comedy, The Number 14, is one of the best pieces of Canadian theatre ever produced an energized tour de force of non-stop laughter!
Fresh from a successful run at Toronto's Royal Alexandra Theatre, this comedy will later this year embark on a tour that takes it around the world for the second time. Cast members include Peter Anderson, Darlene Brookes, Colin Heath, David Mackay, Trish Pattenden and Wayne Specht.
Originally written and conceived by Axis Theatre back in 1992, its creative team included Peter Anderson, Melody Anderson, Gina Bastone, Colin Heath, David Mackay, Wayne Specht, Roy Surette, and Beatrice Zeilinger. Darlene Brookes, Tom Jones, and Allan Zinyk also helped develop original material. Many of the original performers are still with the show. The first tour took this comedy to Hong Kong, and last year with its Broadway production, it received a New York Drama Desk nomination for Unique Theatrical Experience.
The comedy takes its name from and is set on Vancouver's #14 Hastings bus. As this hilarious bus journeys across town we meet sixty different characters, each with their own absurd idiosyncrasies. Imagine commedia dell'arte, vaudeville, Monty Python, Mr. Bean and Benny Hill all rolled into one. In essence, The Number 14 is a piece that celebrates the theatrical.
Mime, Mask, and Acrobatics, are as well-cleverly incorporated with music and sound effects, at times creating a ritualistic, dance type rhythm. The comedy is full of satirical observations, sight gags, and scripted jokes. Nothing is sacred and all is up for grabs to be satirized in Number 14.
Each member of the cast deserves accolades for the intense level of energy and skill they gave to their performances. Their collective talents provided the audience with a bus ride like no other and non-stop belly-laughing entertainment from start to finish.
The Director, Roy Surette, and his production team deserve credit for bringing such a delightful comedy to the public. Melody Anderson, (Mask Design) created beautiful characters with her masks. Douglas Macaulay (Composer & Sound Design) worked magic with his musical arrangements and sound effects, while Pam Johnson (Set Design) created a set that perfectly blended the real and surreal.
This play is the final production of the 1998/99 season for The Art Club's Granville Island stage. If you are not a patron of the performing arts, or The Arts Club, now would be the time to start.
The Number 14 is one of the best pieces of theatre a person could ever see. It represents everything comedic theatre should be and is the good place to start if you are not a regular theatregoer.