There's a hilarious mystery brewing in North Georgia as The Ringgold Playhouse (TRP) prepares to open its absurdly funny seven-performance production of "The Real Inspector Hound" beginning Thursday, Sept. 14 at the historic Ringgold Depot.
Over the next two weekends, TRP will offer the whodunnit story to audiences as its closing production of the 2017 Season.
Director Greg Rambin Sr. says the show, which adds a comedic touch to the classic murder mystery genre, has a lot of offer audiences.
"I can’t wait for the audience to see these actors bring 'Inspector Hound' to life," Rambin said. "It is both funny and thought-provoking. I almost wish I could ride home with audience members to hear the discussion afterwards because the play is not simply a satire of murder mysteries. Don’t get me wrong, if you love 'The Mousetrap' by Agatha Christie or Sherlock Holmes stories, you will enjoy the ribbing that those get from Tom Stoppard. Hound also pokes fun at theatre critics …. and pokes fun at humanity. I have watched the show many times and I still find something new to laugh at."
The Ringgold Playhouse's production of "The Real Inspector Hound"
When: Sept. 14-16 & 21-23 at 7:30 p.m. Special matinee Saturday, Sept. 23, at 2 p.m.
Where: The Ringgold Depot. 155 Depot Street Ringgold, Ga.
Cost: $10 general admission. $8 for seniors and students.
The production includes the play-within-a-play setup that begins with two theatre critics preparing to watch a whodunnit, but by night's end the two become completely engrossed in the madness.
It is a foggy and foreboding day at Muldoon Manor, a charming, but isolated, English country house populated by tortured and suspicious characters. A game of bridge results in raised temperatures and veiled threats; a mysterious man, possibly mad, shows up to charm the lady of the house and her young friend; and a dead body lies under the sofa, waiting to be discovered. All the while, a pair of pretentious critics comment on the action, munch chocolates, complain bitterly about their professional rivals, and ogle the attractive actresses. In "The Real Inspector Hound," Tony and Academy award-winning playwright Tom Stoppard has crafted a witty, surreal, and compelling tale in which identity is as changeable as a moustache, or a pair of boots, and a hack production of a tired whodunnit can be the cover for a masterful revenge plot, trained on the professional members of the audience.
Rambin says his eight-person cast has put a lot of time and effort into crafting this very entertaining play.
"It has been a fun experience from the very beginning," Rambin said."I am always in awe of the creative process. Watching the cast come to rehearsal each night; seeing their characters develop, and then seeing the cast as a whole meld into a singular unit – it’s really a joy to watch."
The cast includes TRP veterans Laurie Shaw, Joshua Chisholm, Chuck Nalley, Jennifer Bryant, and Adam Cook, as well as three very polished actors making their TRP debuts; Katie Olsen, Trevor Miles, and Jim Eernisse.
"It is such a strong cast, this is the perfect show for an enjoyable evening at the theatre," Rambin said. "The show takes Shakespeare’s line from 'As You Like It' almost literally: 'All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts'. I invite everyone to see what part they play in 'The Real Inspector Hound'. Come see it!"
The show opens Thursday night, Sept. 14, and will run Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. through Sept. 23 with a special matinee performance Sept. 23 at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $10 general admission and $8 for seniors and students. Tickets are available in person at Ringgold City Hall, over the phone at 706-935-3061, or online at cityofringgoldga.gov.