By Mike Renzella | The Haldimand Press
July 6, 2023
PORT DOVER—Lighthouse Festival Theatre continues a great 2023 run with their latest production, Bed and Breakfast, a show with a community’s worth of memorable characters brought to exhilarating life by just two performers.
The show tells the story of Brett and Drew, a Toronto-based couple who leave their anxiety-producing, fast-paced lives in the city behind when Brett inherits his aunt’s home in a small-town community that they decide to convert into a bed and breakfast.
Told through flashbacks, the story plays fast and loose with its narrative structure, jumping quickly through a variety of hilarious scenarios where the couple, played by actors Adrian Shepherd-Gawinski (Brett) and Warren Macaulay (Drew), begin to connect with the community they have adopted.
The thing that sets this show apart is the impressive versatility of its two leading men. Both display an incredible ability to seamlessly switch between a variety of characters, often within the confines of a single scene. It’s the best kind of theatrical magic.
In the hands of lesser actors, some of these scenes could have become confusing and difficult to follow, but Macaulay and Shepherd-Gawinski are more than up to the challenge of keeping up with the script’s breakneck pace and non-stop jokes.
While frequently hilarious, the show tackles some tough issues as well, with Brett and Drew finding themselves targeted at times throughout the play by some less-than-friendly townsfolk who disagree with their lifestyle, leading both characters to face startling revelations before the curtains drop.
In the more tender moments of the play, Shepherd-Gawinski and Macaulay share a believable vulnerability that keeps the audience firmly in their corner from the first scene to the last.
Playwright Mark Crawford touched on the inspiration behind the show, explaining, “As we move towards a more open, accepting, loving society, we’re simultaneously experiencing a nasty backlash against LGBTQ+ people – around the world, but also here at home.”
He wrote the show for all audiences, noting, “Wherever you land on the wide and wonderful spectrum of human sexuality, I hope Bed And Breakfast tickles your funny bone and touches your heart.”
Crawford’s script is chalk full of witty one-liners, big, broad comedic moments, and biting observational-style humour. If you appreciate comedy in any form, you will find something to like with this one. And further, you’ll walk away in awe at live theatre’s continuing ability to celebrate human connection, challenge toxic cultural stereotypes, and still leaving you smiling from the simple joy of a good story well told.
Run, don’t walk, to the Lighthouse Theatre in Dover and get a set of tickets today – you won’t regret it.
‘Bed and Breakfast’ is the third show in Lighthouse’s summer festival series. It runs at Port Dover’s Lighthouse Theatre until July 15, and then heads to Port Colborne’s Roselawn Theatre, where it will delight audiences from July 19-30.
Check out lighthousetheatre.com for more information on show times, including Lighthouse’s unique, inclusive ‘relaxed performance’ program.