“Self Help” at the Bailey Theatre

An intrepid group of 19 Probus members – “Theatrical wannabes” was off to see the production “Self-Help” on Feb 22 in Nanaimo.

Many of us had been to previous productions at The Bailey that are usually British humour of the dry farce variety. This one turned over our definition of farce.  Norm Foster is considered the most produced playwright in Canada’s history averaging 150 productions per year and this script is one of his two farces. Differentiated from a comedy, a farce is a light, humorous play in which the plot depends upon a skillfully exploited situation rather than upon the development of character.

The Plot: A married pair of second-rate actors become nationally renowned self-help gurus. Their newly found fame and fortune quickly unravels into a farcical comedy of errors as they struggle to maintain their new lifestyle. Self Help, Nanaimo Theatre Group (NTG) sets laughter as the goal.  And laughter is good for your health!  If you were looking for serious themes and messages in a theatrical production, you missed it.  As always NTG takes producing quality theatre very seriously with attention to every detail on stage and backstage including set, properties, costumes, lighting and sound.  Although the play has highly improbable, indeed absurd situations, the six actors performed with absolute conviction. Lots of laughs and a night not to take yourself or anything else too seriously.  A good time was had by all.

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