Old Love takes to the stage of Frank Venables Theatre in Oliver on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 2 and 3 with a matinee Saturday evening. The following weekend the production moves to the Osoyoos Secondary School’s theatre for two shows.
The story spans 30 years and half a dozen meetings between Bud, a salesman, and Molly, his boss’s wife. One of them is smitten from the very first meeting – the other is, let’s just say, less so. The play moves forward and back through their sporadic encounters, mostly manufactured by Bud, with each character baring their heart and soul to the other in poignant monologues.
Canada’s preeminent comic playwright, Norm Foster, has written a clever and witty dialogue celebrating the pursuit of love, the kind of love that “makes you breathe just a little bit faster.” Charmingly written, Foster’s use of one-liner’s serve the script well and has the audience smiling, chuckling and laughing throughout the play.
So what’s it about? Through the use of flashbacks the story is told about how Bud falls hopelessly in love with his boss’s wife Molly Graham. The tone of those meetings is comic, with the setting usually an after-hours business social event.
Other than the socially awkward employee’s well-hidden infatuation with the always inebriated object of his desire, the action amounts to little more than a few shared words, all of which are promptly forgotten and lost by the outwardly and inwardly bored Molly in a haze of alcoholic indifference. Each subsequent time their paths meet, she has no idea of who he is and the fact they already know each other.
Over the past three months, director Jen Jensen has been working with her cast to develop the characters portrayed in the play. The cast features some familiar faces to the SOAP stage as well as several newcomers to the group.
Clem Jones has been helping SOAP behind the scenes and appears on the SOAP stage for his first time as older Bud, a retired salesman. Patrick Turner returns to the stage after a four-year hiatus to play Young Bud, a younger, flashback version of the Older Bud.
Lyn Kaulback, a recent arrival to Oliver, is also appearing for the first time with SOAP, playing the mature Molly, the recently widowed wife of Arthur, while Sarah Wilkie, another newcomer to the community, is making her first SOAP Theatre appearance as Young Molly.
Jeff Smith returns to the stage as Arthur, Bud’s former boss and Molly’s recently deceased husband, as well as Arthur Jr., their grown son.
Tracey Henderson is back with SOAP, playing Kitty, Young Bud’s wife, while Chelsea Cameron-Horner will appear as Kendra, Arthur Jr.’s wife.
Show times at the Frank Venables Theatre are 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2 and Saturday, Feb. 3 with a 2 p.m. matinee on Feb. 3.
In Osoyoos, the play runs Friday, Feb. 9 and Saturday, Feb. 10, with a 7:30 p.m. curtain each night at the OSS Theatre.
Tickets for both Oliver and Osoyoos are available through the Venables Theatre Ticket Office, online at Venablestheatre.ca and at Your Dollar Store With More in Osoyoos and Sundance Video in Oliver.