The latest production by our Student Theatre Society, Murder Can be Habit Forming, is a murder-mystery parody that shows a different side of the student performers who have leaned more towards drama, with intense pieces like After Juliet. In Murder, a convent of nuns, who have all taken the name of Mary, find themselves taking in a busload of strangers, one of whom is almost certainly a serial killer who targets women called Mary.
As the most senior (and most senile) member of the convent, Mary Agatha, the youthful Maddy Goodman hilariously captures the spirit of an old nun. Bonnie Moore plays the patient and wise head nun, whose demeanour is well-contrasted by the mischievous and mocking younger nuns, played by Lyn Li Che and Chrissy Angelis. Rounding out the convent cast is Sky Richards, as the sweet sister who takes care of the ailing Mary Agatha. As the gruff caretaker Herman, Richard Boness is subtly funny, while his real-life brother Jacob takes on the role of the jovial bus driver Willard.
On the visitors/suspects side is Brian Christensen as Torch, a dramatic young rockstar whose fame is rising with his band’s hit “Kill me with a Kiss”; Robyn Hope as the scene-stealing character of Erika Kincaid, an egomaniac actress; Eric Protzer as the tightly wound Patrick; Cam Buckingham as the mysterious Mr. Stacey; Jack Hayes as a blithely academic university professor Dr. Lewis; and Brenda Moore as the mysterious Mary Adams. Alex Butterfield plays the naïve and heartbroken college student, whose boyfriend Ryan, played by Chris Madsen, surprises her and immediately falls under suspicion. Ali West plays a retired nun and delivers many of the laughs of the play with her slumped posture and extremely nasal voice.
The play progresses quickly, as clues mount up and the Marys struggle to stay alive while attempting to deduce who among them might be a threat, as they are stranded in an old house filled with medieval weapons and secret passageways, on a dark and cold night. Delivering comedy and suspense in equal doses, the student production shows off the diverse talents of those on stage as well as those working behind it.
The show goes on at 7 pm on Friday, May 29 and at 2 pm on Saturday, May 30 in the Copeland theatre.