Rosebud Theatre presents The Kite as its newest production. This show by W.O. Mitchell was originally written as a novel in 1962 and was adapted to theatre for its first show at Theatre Calgary in 1981. The story behind this play is one that will keep you entertained from start to finish. Set in 1976 in Shelby, Alberta, we are given a glimpse into the life of 116 year old John Felix Sherry, or as he is commonly known as in the play; Daddy Sherry. His life is anything but boring as the town preps for his upcoming birthday, hilarity and chaos ensues as the preparations go every way but how they were planned. With a smaller cast of only 7 characters and a dog, the performers bring an unforgettable charm to each of their performances. These portrayals were only made more impressive due to the brilliant minds of around 27 crew members. With a runtime of approximately 2 hours, not including a 15 minute intermission, you will feel a sense of joy throughout.
Cheryl Daugherty, as the scenic artist, along with Robyn Ayles, as the scenic designer, have set a beautiful scene using their many talents. With a multipurpose background, we are given an inside look at what the scenery around the rural town of Shelby would have really felt like. This is paired with a mobile frame of the set that can take you from the front porch to the interior of the home within a matter of movements. This impressive feature allows for audiences to keep up with the story line without being overly distracted by these set changes. The performers in this show are able to replace the set perfectly in character which is quite a commendable act.
Acting is one of The Kite’s strong suits, as the performers truly become the characters that they are depicting, with deep nuances in every movement. Every character has a unique personality, and each one feels grounded in reality, with realistic motivations and reactions. While there were some slip ups with lines, the actors managed to remain believable, and due to the fact that this was opening night, there is only room for improvement. Some scenes even interacted with the crowd, and the commitment that was shown to each role was exemplary. These actors were under the fantastic direction of Morris Ertman, who helped make the show into the success it is.
The humour in The Kite is a huge part of what makes it so enjoyable. No joke or gag failed to make the audience laugh. There was a perfect combination of physical humor and good old fashion joking around. Everyone in the theatre was having an amazing time and couldn’t stop smiling from start to finish. Each character brought their own sense of amusement and overall ridiculousness to the show. Even if some of this humour may end up appealing to a slightly more mature population of viewers, there is nothing that is especially offensive. This hilarity, however, does not take away from the emotional aspects in the show.
These emotional and thematic aspects, in turn, are what add with the humour to elevate this production to a higher level. Without giving away too much, one of the central themes is the acceptance of growing old, while still remembering and enjoying the simple pleasures. This theme is shown in the well thought out character arcs, every character goes through a series of interesting events, and each character reacts in their own way. There is a character of each age group in the show, and each shows how a person would react to the aging and loss of a loved one. Delivered with the great humour in the show, these heartfelt moments don’t drag the viewer down, in fact, it is quite the opposite, as by the end you will feel a sense of happiness and hopefulness.
All things considered, The Kite is a funny, heartwarming story, and it is well worth the watch. The cast adds their own flair to all the roles, giving the audience a sense of personality to the characters. The engaging dialogue and jokes will leave you wanting to keep your attention on the stage for the entire production. The show has quite the plot, and many surprises along the way. If a funny, deep play is up your alley, The Kite is for you. The Kite runs from June 7th to August 31st at Rosebud Theatre, and tickets are available for purchase at https://www.rosebudtheatre.com/shows/the-kite