Arts Club On Tour
The Foreigner by Larry Shue

Dates and Venues
February 18 – 28, 2015 at 8pm Tues to Thurs 8pm, Saturday and Sunday 4pm, Friday and Saturday 8pm | Main Stage at the Surrey Arts Centre, 13750 – 88th Avenue, Surrey

Director Evan Frayne Set Design Lauchlin Johnston Stage Manager Louis-Marie Bounival

Reviewer Karen Fitzgibbon

The Foreigner is entertainment at its best. The whole play is hilarious and the audience is laughing non-stop. What a delightful experience it is to see these great actors pull off a stellar performance!

The story is about Charlie, a man who is introverted and thinks he has no social skills. His friend convinces him to go to a fishing lodge for a vacation. Just so that he doesn’t have to talk to anyone his friend introduces him to his fellow lodge occupants as a man who does not speak English.

As we entered the theatre we are impressed by one of the best stage designs that I have seen in some time. The audience’s first impression is impacted by stage presentation; a point that many plays that I have seen fail to take seriously. Singular props on a non-descript stage backdrop just doesn’t cut it. To see a stage fully designed just makes the production start off on a successful note. This one definitely started off on a successful note. The sound, lighting and costumes were perfect as well.

Voth who played Charlie was absolutely amazing and had the audience in tears from laughter. He did a particularly funny skit when he was trying to communicate through pantomime and wound up using the back of a sofa as the stage for his version of Punch and Judy. I have to say that the whole cast was fantastic. It amazes me how they are able to remember all of the lines since this is a very fast moving, fast talking play. Forsyth who played Betty reminded me of Granny on the Hillbillies. Betty is a key personality who yells at Charlie since she is treated as being deaf and not speaking English as the same thing.

It is very sad that the playwright Larry Shue died at only 39 years of age. I can’t imagine the great plays he would have written had he lived a full life. This play was quick witted, animated and the lines were so original.

This is one play that I would highly recommend. This is probably one of the best comedies that I’ve seen in all my years of reviewing. My cheeks will be sore tomorrow from all the laughing..

© 2015 Karen Fitzgibbon