Entertainment

It's a play about hope'

Jacob Robinson

By Jacob Robinson, Simcoe Reformer

PORT DOVER - 

You never know when something – or someone – great is waiting right around the corner.

That notion is at the core of John Spurway's romantic comedy 'The Numbers Game', which debuts at Lighthouse Festival Theatre July 5. The script puts Phil (played by David Rosser) alongside Bernie (Nora Sheehan). Bernie was once the most popular girl in high school while Phil spent his free time on the math team. Almost four decades after graduation the two – who have never formally met – are down on their luck and in need of a place to stay.

“It's a play about hope, about change, about helping,” said Rosser.

“(Our characters) both have these failures and these miserable lives that we both think we're going through, but you can't sweat the small stuff. He's got a line, 'instead of thinking about what we've lost, let's think about what we've still got'. That's the kind of message that everybody needs to take away.”

This will be the third time that the husband/wife duo of Rosser and Sheehan have starred in the play, previous appearances were in both Orangeville and Kincardine. The pair's built-in chemistry stemming from years of marriage and familiarity with the script presents a challenge in creating the initial awkwardness that Bernie and Phil experience on stage.

“You have to keep reminding yourself that these two characters have never met before, so they're not going to be able to sit and say, 'Hey you, how's it going?',” Sheehan points out. “They're not old pals.”

Both characters have changed quite a bit since their high school days, something we can all relate to, Sheehan added.

“It really is a timeless piece, there's nothing dated about it,” she said.

“You look back at the people who were at the top of their game in high school and where they are now and you look back at some of the kids that were so shy they couldn't even walk down the hall now are CEOs at companies. We can all relate to that because (Bernie) says at one point, 'I'm not even the same person I was six months ago'.”

The duo has been working side-by-side with associate director Jane Spence during their third go-round with The Numbers Game. Because of Rosser and Sheehan's familiarity with the script, Spence said the focus during rehearsals has been “putting icing on the cake”. That's being done to what the group describes as a 'charming' and 'heartwarming' script.

“Sometimes the person that winds up being right for you comes in a really unexpected package,” Spence explained.

“We all go through relationships and marriages that might not work out. To feel like there could be some hope around the corner would be a lovely thing (for the audience) to leave with. I hope people come and they laugh, but I feel like they'll be moved and will relate to a lot going on on the stage. It's a hilarious script but it's also very touching. I think they'll get a lot out of it.”

Show times and tickets are available by visiting lighthousetheatre.com.

 

jrobinson@postmedia.com