Trinity Western University presents Holy Mo and Spew Boy by award-winning Vancouver playwright Lucia Frangione. Three female clowns use wonderful music, wacky humour, and a wagon full of props to tell their unexpected version of the stories of Moses and King David. The musical comedy opens November 28, just in time to bring some extra joy to your Christmas season
"This show is like a party on stage," says director Angela Konrad. "The story is told with fabulous energy and creativity and the songs have you humming along and tapping your toes - you're never quite sure what will happen next."
Follie, Buffoona and Guff are three irrepressible travelling clowns who know how to tell a story that is fresh and funny. In Holy Mo, familiar events like the parting of the Red Sea are brought to life in a way that uncovers their meaning, underlines their relevance, and unleashes their comedic potential. The delightful irreverence continues in Spew Boy, where King David is both the unexpected killer of the giant Goliath and proprietor of a popular bagel shop.
In addition to Moses and David, the clowns play more than 20 other characters. They include the Sphinx King Rambo who refuses to let Moses and his people get to the Promised Land; Queen Phyllis and the Stiners who persecute the Hebrews; and God who is known as I Yam or Yamma.
An interesting twist in the TWU production is that each of the roles has been double cast, with one cast performing the first act (Holy Mo) and the other performing the second (Spew Boy). The actors worked together to create their clown character and to develop a common understanding of the way each additional character should be presented.
"Working on this show is an incredible challenge," says Langley native Kaylee Harwood who plays Buffoona in Holy Mo. "Not only do we need to understand our clowns, we must develop different voices and physicality for all the other characters. And on top of that we sing and play our own instruments!"
Chilliwack's Kyla Ferrier, who plays Buffoona in Spew Boy, couldn't agree more.
"I am learning so much through this process," Ferrier says. "Working with Kaylee to discover Buffoona, creating so many different characters, singing and playing new instruments - this is an amazing opportunity and I'm loving every minute of it."
Trinity Western University alum Joshua McFaul is the musical director for the production who is responsible for coaching the singing and developing the instrumentation.
"When Angela first approached me about this project I thought it sounded like too much fun to pass up," McFaul says. "It's a terrific chance for me to use my music and theatre training on a show that doesn't follow any rules."
The instruments used in the production include banjo, guitar, a variety of percussion instruments, a recorder, and a kazoo.
The instruments are a good indication of the unorthodox nature of the show: it's not your typical musical. A dance graduate of Langley Fine Arts, Harwood has been in many musicals including Grease at Theatre Under the Stars and the lead in Cinderella for Burnaby's Footlight Theatre. But Holy Mo and Spew Boy is a show like no other.
"I have never been in a show like this," Harwood says. "It demands physical and vocal agility, an ability to sing and play instruments, and a real understanding of clowning and comedy. I'm thrilled to be stretched in so many directions."
In addition to Harwood and Ferrier, the production features Amanda Hart and Erin Mahoney as Follie; and Jordaan Montes and Victoria Thompson as Guff. The lighting designer is Jennifer Muth, set designer is Warren Jones, and the costume designer is Rosalie Pypker. The stage manager is Holly Pillsbury, who is assisted by Marie-Eve Gobeil and Kim MacEachern.
"The goal is that the production will be seamless from one act to the next," says Konrad. "It's a fabulous learning opportunity for the students to work together in this way and it will be great fun for the audience to see what that collaboration has created."
"Buffoona" is played by Kyla Ferrier (Chilliwack) & Kaylee Harwood (Langley), "Follie" is played by Erin Mahoney and Amanda Hart (Bremerton, WA) and "Guff" is played by Jordaan Montes and Victoria Thompson (Bellingham, WA).
Holy Mo and Spew Boy runs for six performances only, November 28 - December 1, Wednesday to Saturday at 8 p.m. Matinees are Friday at 4 pm and Saturday at 2 pm. For more information and tickets, go to www.twu.ca/theatre or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trinity Western University, located in Langley, B.C., is a not-for-profit Christian liberal arts and sciences university enrolling approximately 4000 students. TWU offers undergraduate degrees in 39 major areas of study ranging from biotechnology, education, nursing, theatre and music to business, communications and biblical studies. TWU's 15 graduate degrees include such areas as counseling psychology, business, theology, administrative leadership and interdisciplinary studies in English, philosophy and history.
Last Updated: 2007-11-15