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Sir Backbite? Sir Teazle? New West actors to star in 18th century comedy

Chris Gursche and Connor Hogg are joining Stage 43 in Coquitlam as the society mounts the updated version of "School for Scandal" in January 2024.

An 18th century comedy about manners that was brought up to date in 2015 will feature a pair of New Westminster talent.

William Harwell Wilson’s School for Scandal, a New Adaptation, is being put together by Stage 43 Theatrical Society and will run at Coquitlam's Evergreen Cultural Centre (1205 Pinetree Way) from Jan. 11 to 20, 2024.

Chris Gursche and Connor Hogg, both residents of New Westminster, are cast in the play respectively as Sir Benjamin Backbite and Sir Peter Teazle.

A refresh of the play The School of Scandal by Richard Brinsley Sheridan, which premiered in 1777 at the Drury Lane Theatre in London, England, the new stage version launches the presentation into the 21st century with current language and representation, as well as more action and a smaller cast; the adaptation was first performed in 2015 in Portland, Ore., by the Scuttlemagoon Players.

It's the first Stage 43 production to be produced by Claire Pinkett and directed by Sue Davey, who is best known for her work with the Dogwood Drama Club at Coquitlam’s Dogwood Pavilion and with the IOCO Players in Port Moody (Davey stage managed STAGES: Sondheim & Schwartz, Lullaby To Broadway and appeared as Juror No. 9 in 12 Angry Jurors).

“School for Scandal has long been a favourite of mine and I couldn’t resist directing a modern version of the English classic,” Davey said in a news release.

Meanwhile, also appearing in the show are (in alphabetical order):

  • Paige Conzatti (as Mrs. Candour)
  • Halia Hirniak (as Lady Olive)
  • Sean Mawhinney (as Charles Surface)
  • Kelsey Robertson (as Lady Teazle)
  • Alex Ross (as Joseph Surface)
  • Michelle Stanley (as Lady Sneerwell)
  • Cai Sun (as Maria)
  • Diane Tzingounakis (as Mrs. Crabtree)

Tickets at $28/$24 for School for Scandal are available via the Evergreen’s website or by calling the box office at 604-927-6555. The show is suitable for ages 18 and up.