Noises Off, the current offering of the Arts Club at the Stanley in Vancouver, is a physical, fast-moving and very funny farce, about a luckless band of amateurs trying to produce a play amid professional and romantic conflicts.
One of the talented cast adding to the fun is a longtime New Westminster resident, actor Colleen Winton as the hapless housekeeper. Her confused meandering switches seamlessly to murderous intent from act to act.
Once again, set designer Ted Roberts has created an eye-catching two level country house set for this play, which delivers its own surprises.
The last time Winton appeared in Noises Off, she had just come back from Toronto to play a different role, that of the ditzy blonde who keeps losing her contacts.
“That’s when I first met my husband, Russell Roberts, who played my romantic lead,” she says.
Roberts, another busy and successful actor, has been her romantic lead in real life ever since.
Their son, Sayer, is also an actor; mother and son will next appear together at the Stanley in May, in Kinky Boots.
“He’s my boss in that one,” Winton laughs.
Her other son, Gower, is also in the theatre business; he was crew chief for Patrick Street Productions' It's a Wonderful Life at the Anvil Centre in December, in which both Winton and Sayer performed.
Winton says the frenetic pace of the second act of Noises Off, where she is involved in actors trying to kill one another with an axe that changes hands almost faster than the eye can follow, is very demanding, so on days with two performances, she catches a lie-down in between.
“I actually got my leg hurt quite badly in one show, so my limp as the housekeeper is very real,” she says.
Winton grew up in New Westminster and went to New Westminster Secondary School.
“My family have lived here since the 1870s, making me the fifth or sixth generation of Wintons in New Westminster.,” she says.
Winton has kept in touch with her roots. In addition to her busy acting career in stage, TV and film, which has garnered her numerous awards, including Jessie and Ovation awards, Winton has been an active supporter of the arts in New Westminster - including Royal City Musical Theatre, where she starred in Hello Dolly on the Massey Theatre stage. She can’t say enough about the high quality of New West’s new Anvil Centre Theatre.
Noises Off, with its non-stop action and talented cast, continues at the Stanley until Feb. 23. Catch it – it’s a great antidote to the February blues.