Clear your calendars and bring your appetite, because Tweed & Company has another first ever don’t miss production planned for this October, THE HAUNTING OF HUNGERFORD HOUSE! Recognizing the popularity and appeal of the dinner and a show combo, Hasting’s County’s resident professional theatre company has gone big this season, programming their first ever Musical Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre production amidst an already large, exciting, and successful 2019 season.
“This is something we’ve talked about doing for years, and with an ever increasing support base, and a great opportunity for partnership with the newly rebranded Stoco Lake Lodge, we knew the time was right,” Says Artistic Producer Tricia Black, currently prepping for her premier as a cast member in this year’s Second City MainStage production. “The show is styled on the murder mysteries that I cut my teeth on on the east coast, which differ greatly from traditional dinner theatre shows here in that the shows are also musicals, and the cast play many of the instruments.” This is nothing new for Tweed & Co regulars, who keep coming back again and again to witness these incredibly talented performers in action, but the addition of a murder mystery, where the audience will also get in on the action, as well as a delicious three course dinner, have meant that this show has already become the hottest selling ticket in Tweed & Co history.
“We have seen the highest selling advance sales in our history with this show, and the numbers grow every day,” says Artistic Director Tim Porter, “We’re very much looking forward to welcoming large and enthusiastic crowds to this show that already has us bursting into tears laughing, and clapping along to these amazing musicians.”
It’s easy to see why this show is already selling like hot cakes. Nine actor musicians, three course meal, exciting set, impressive costumes, and murder mystery where YOU decide the ending! That’s right, the audience at each night’s performance will determine the true culprit, and the cast will play out the ending based on three alternate finishes. “We don’t want to give too much away, but yes, the cast will have a different ending prepared for each circumstance based on what the audience decides that evening. Makes it extra thrilling!” says Black, who conceived the script and created the show alongside Porter.
This production will also be welcoming back some of Tweed & Company’s favourite past performers, along with an array of new to the company talent that boast impressive resumes. Playing the Owner of Hungerford House (as well as some other surprise characters) will be Artistic Associate Joel MacMeekin, last seen in his star turn as the flamboyant prince in HASTINGS! The Musical. Playing his associate, the Keeper of the House, will be new company member Kati Pearson. Kati is a recent graduate of the celebrated Musical Theatre Program at Sheridan college, and also hold’s a degree in voice from Queen’s University. Her credits include lead roles in large scale productions like Busch Gardens, Les Miserables, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dream Coat. Playing psychic medium Molly will be another newcomer to Tweed & Co, Lauren Mayer. A popular Canadian Singer/Songwriter, Lauren is a talented musician as well as an award winning Musical Theatre performer, recently appearing beside Tweed & Co favourite James King in the Toronto two hander Hedwig & The Angry Inch. Also appearing in the production will be returning favourite Stephen Ingram who played Aleck in ALECK BELL last fall here in Tweed. You’ll likely remember Stephen for his powerful vocals and incredible skill on the piano. He will also be musically directing this production. Playing a couple of reality TV show ghost hunters will be a pair of newcomers, Liam Lynch, fresh off his summer with the St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival and also a recent graduate from Sheridan, and singer, actress, musician, comedienne Katherine Cappellacci. And returning once again for his third season in a row will be talented local actor/musician Mark Lesage who has stolen many moments on the Tweed & Co Stage with his impressive upright bass playing, and impeccable comedic timing. Rounding out the company will be guitarist Alex Purcell from the Purcell project, and drummer Pieter Huyer who has played major theatres across the country, both taking on supporting roles in addition to their musical skills.
The production will be directed by Porter, and assistant directed and stage managed by incoming Artistic Associate Rebecca Ballarin. “The company has continued to grow and expand to the point where we needed to bring on some extra support staff, and we are thrilled to be welcoming Rebecca to the company as an incredible administrator and a talented artist.” Porter had high praise for Ballarin, originally from Peterborough, who is a sought after independent Producer and Director in Toronto, as well as core staff member at SPARC (Supporting Performing Arts in Rural and Remote Communities). And a sure sign of the times that this small theatre company with an impressive history and continuous audience growth rate continues to build and grow their organization here in our community.
This production will be fully staged on Tweed & Co’s exciting Alley Stage which has been a staple of their past few productions, this time assembled and enhanced in the main hall at Stoco Lake Lodge. Their updated sound system from last season will be put to good use with nine actor musicians, and a sought after Toronto Sound Designer, Sean Downing, at the helm. New lighting and impressive costumes from Stratford costume designer Julia Holbert will round out this new production.
“We could not be more excited for this show, and just can’t wait to get it in front of an audience,” says Porter, saying they are well prepped for their Halloween adjacent performance schedule. “This cast, this setting, and this delicious dinner are going to blow people away, and we are thrilled to be able to offer this whole experience for $50.00, which is the equivalent to just a show at most other professional theatre companies.” Porter says their incredible sponsor support base, and the volume of ticket sales at their recent productions have allowed them to keep their costs down and continue to fulfill their mandate of creating theatre that is affordable and accessible for all.
‘The Haunting of Hungerford House’ plays for four performances only from October 24th to 26th at Stoco Lake Lodge in Tweed. All tickets are $50.00 and include dinner and the show. Tickets are available at the Tweed News, or through tweedandcompany.com. Full artists bios and headshots can also be found on the site. Don’t miss your chance to catch this hilarious and spooky new musical mystery production, before it disappears once again into the mist…and from the sounds of it, you’ll want to book your tickets soon…