Mysterious gardener, Jim (played by Ross Stephanson) shares his handiwork with his daughter, Rosie (Nicole Abbott, left) and friend Mercy (Adele Bailey) in CLT’s dark comedy, “Humble Boy” running April 6th to 13th at Sid Williams Theatre. Photo by Terry Penney

Love, laughter and more with Humble Boy

Get your tickets early to see Courtenay Little Theatre’s spring production of Humble Boy by Charlotte Jones, running April 6 to the 13 at the Sid Williams Theatre.

The Valley will be buzzing about this award-winning West End comedy, produced by our own award-winning community theatre. Humble Boy has it all: love, laughter, and allusions to Shakespeare’s Hamlet. It also has a couple of sizzling sex scenes.

When the play opens, Flora Humble’s husband has recently died and her son, Felix, has returned for the funeral. Flora, played by Ruthie Tilston, is neither grieving her late husband, nor is she welcoming her prodigal son, who has been estranged from the family for seven years. There are extenuating circumstances in the form of neighbour George Pye, played with hilarious effect by Jon Faris.

Felix (Connor Berkmann) is a distracted physicist searching for a theory that will explain the entire universe. You could say he’s a bit ungrounded. At least that is the case when the play opens, before he reconnects with the girlfriend he abandoned. She certainly gives him pause and a whole lot more.

Felix’s girlfriend is Rosie Pye, daughter to George. Rosie, a nurse and mother who has a lot more going than her father who seems content to play the fool to entertain self-absorbed, vain Flora. Nicole Abbott, who plays Rosie, will be remembered by many as the outstanding leading lady in CLT’s fall production of the mystery, Evelyn Strange. Anchoring it all is Flora’s ever-suffering friend, Mercy (Adele Bailey), who tries to smooth over all of the dysfunction but only makes it worse, adding greatly to the comedy.

Humble Boy could be simply an entertaining bedroom farce but there is much more to this play. All of the characters are more complex than meets the eye. At the end of the play, things are not at all as they seemed when the curtain opened.

Bees, previously kept by Felix’s deceased father, provide an interesting instrument for explaining relationships and perspectives. There are those who love the bees, and those who cannot tolerate them.

Similarities to Shakespeare’s Hamlet can be found in the opening act. Like Hamlet, Felix is a depressed young man grieving the death of his father. Jim the gardener, played by Ross Stephenson, brings the Hamlet comparison even closer. Audiences will be left with much to discuss on the way home.

CLT has added a caution that Humble Boy contains themes and language that may be offensive to some people.

Tickets for Humble Boy are available at the Sid Williams Theatre Ticket Centre, 442 Cliffe Avenue, by phone (250) 338-2430 ext. 1, or online at sidwilliamstheatre.com. The show runs for six performances April 6 to 13; individual tickets are $25 for evening performances, $23 for a matinée performance.

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