Cast of Charley's aunt in front of red curtains with a keep calm sign

Charley’s Aunt ~The Story

The play Charley’s Aunt  debuted in 1892. It is a great mix of comedy, romance, mistaken identities, and simply hilarious dialogue that has lost none of its power to tickle an audience’s funny bone.

The set-up involves two upper-class, but impecunious, students at Oxford: the enthusiastic, over-excitable Jack Chesney and the even more enthusiastic, hyper-excitable Charles Wykeham Both are swooning with love. But how to find an opportunity to declare their feelings to the objects of their affection, consistent with late-Victorian proprieties?

Charley's Friend dressed up as his aunt chaperoning Charley his girlfirend and another Oxfod friend and his girl.The opportunity arrives in the form of a projected visit from the eponymous aunt: she can fill the required chaperone role. But wait: she telegraphs that she will be delayed, so what to do since the girls are about to arrive? The two swains dragoon a friend, Lord Fancourt Babberly , into donning a dress and wig to impersonate the aunt, Donna Lucia, a wealthy widow from Brazil (“Where the nuts come from,” in the play’s most famous line). Babbs, as he is known to his friends, must then navigate both the demands of an impromptu drag performance and burgeoning plot complications.

Women chatting about the men they loveEnter the girls: Kitty Verdun in love with Jack; Amy Spettigue, in love with Charley; and, in the second act, Ela Delahay, in love with Babbs. They are bubbly, giddy, and filled to the brim with girlish glee.

Then, just as the boys’ ruse seems to be making progress, the real Donna Lucia appears. The warmly wise Donna Lucia quickly decides to play along, and her efforts are key to ensuring a happy ending for everyone in this timeless story about the unpredictability of love.

Playwright Thomas was a renowned character actor in his day, and he created some juicy character roles in Charley’s Aunt. There’s Jack’s hearty father, Sir Francis , who isn’t about to let a little thing like financial disaster diminish his cheerful mien. There’s the disagreeable, smarmy, gold-digging Stephen Spettigue , who pursues the false Donna Lucia in hopes of a big payday. And perhaps, best of all, there’s Brassett , the boys’ veteran butler, who has seen everything, is surprised at nothing, and whatever the madness around him, keeps calm and carries on.

Charley is not really Charley'ss AuntThe stage is set for lots of chases, scenes of mistaken identity, conversations at crossed purposes and wildly improbable coincidences –  all important elements for a classic farce.  We look forward to bringing Charley’s Aunt to you just as soon as group gatherings are once again permitted.

Charley’s Aunt ~ Cast & Crew

CAST OF CHARACTERS

Charley Wykeham……………………….. Alex Ross

Amy Spettigue………………………… Celeste Musseau

Lord Fancourt Babberley…………… Hayden Clewes

Ela Delahay……………………………… Jamé Wonacott

Jack Chesney…………………………… J.D. Dueckman

Kitty Verdun…………………………….. Julia Halabourda

Brassett…………………………………… Matt Ireland

Sir Francis Chesney………………….. Michael Wild

Donna Lucia d’Alvadorez……………. Monika Curman

Stephen Spettigue…………………….. Tom Kavadias

 

THE PRODUCTION TEAM

Director…………………………………. Alison Schamberger

Producter………………………………. Catherine Morrison

Stage Manager……………………….. Shay Cameron

Assistant Stage Managers……….. Colleen Shook; Deborah Watts; Gwen Palmer

Backstage Crew………………………. Natascha Downey

Set Designer…………………………… Todd Parker

Costume Designer…………………… Claire Turner

Lighting Designer…………………….. Les Erskine

Sound Designer………………………. Roger Monk

General Manager…………………….. Les Erskine

Technical Director………………………Les Erskine

Scenic Carpenter…………………….. Robin Richardson

Scenic Painting/Set Decoration…. Tracy-Lynn Chernaske

Publicity…………………………………. Debra Danny

Graphic Design…………………………Barbara LaBounta

Photography…………………………….Tracy-Lynn Chernaske

ON HOLD

Metro Theatre is doing our part to prevent an escalation of COVID-19 infections by following B.C.’s Ministry of Health guidelines and temporarily pausing productions until further notice.

 

We are committed to staging Charley’s Aunt, the final show of this season, this is only a postponement. The cast and crew have worked very hard over the past few months of rehearsals and are excited about presenting this very funny play as soon as group gatherings get the go ahead. In the meantime, we will continue to work solo, where permitted, on the set, costuming, lighting, sound and other elements that make a Metro show a wonderful live theatre experience.

Brandy, cigar and books on an empty chairTheatre reminds us that we are not alone. Not only are we sharing space and an experience with the artists who are performing, we are sharing the experience with fellow audience members. Thank you for coming to see our plays and for your understanding as we all work through this difficult situation together.

When we are allowed to open I hope we can count on all of you to come and support us once again.

Stay safe. We will miss you all.