Andrew McNee (as Paul Sheldon) and Lucia Frangione (Annie Wilkes) in “Misery,” an Arts Club Theatre Company show that plays Surrey Arts Centre from Jan. 10 to 20.

‘Misery’ in Surrey as Arts Club sends Stephen King thriller on tour

Andrew McNee and Lucia Frangione star in tale about injured novelist and his biggest fan

SURREY — Stephen King’s classic thriller about an injured novelist and his biggest fan is set to play Surrey Arts Centre.

The Arts Club Theatre Company’s version of Misery stars Andrew McNee as stranded romance writer Paul Sheldon, who is rescued from a car crash and nursed back to health by avid reader Annie Wilkes, played by Lucia Frangione.

Wilkes’ motives are, well, suspect, and Sheldon realizes he isn’t so much a guest in her home, but captive.

The play is directed by Rachel Ditor, who as a teen was thrilled by King’s popular horror stories.

“There was something delicious to my friends and I about being too scared to turn the page and too thrilled to put the book down,” she notes in the Misery show program.

“And being able to tell a good scary story live? Well, that was the best. Delivering the goriest parts like a punch line to a joke was an enviable skill. Misery provides that same good sport of knowing something icky is going to happen and looking forward to it anyway. On top of that, the play version of the story also gives us the good sport of compelling live performances.”

The touring production opens in West Van and hits stages in New West and North Van before playing Surrey Arts Centre from Jan. 10 to 20, as part of the venue’s Surrey Spectacular season of shows. The tour continues through Coquitlam, Vernon, Burnaby, Chilliwack, Mission and Maple Ridge before the play ends up on the Arts Club’s Granville Island Stage for a month, starting April 5.

The stage adaptation of King’s story is written by two-time Academy Award winner William Goldman, who penned the 1990 screen version of the book.

Misery is a show we’ve all been looking forward to for some time,” says Bill Millerd, who in 2018 will retire from his job as the Arts Club’s longtime artistic managing director.

”Staging a thriller by the master of the genre, Stephen King, is a rare opportunity and we’re excited to bring you something quite different. (Ditor) has given our longtime props master Michael Gall and his team the chance to really show off their talent for special effects. Hold your neighbour’s hand if you need to, as we aim to have you jumping out of your seats!”

• READ MORE: White Rock’s Ashlie Corcoran has been appointed artistic director for Vancouver’s Arts Club Theatre, from July 2017.

Ditor calls McNee “a magnetic performer” for his “funny, honest and inventive,” work, and considers Frangione “one of the most fearless artists I know, willing to risk everything to tell a great story.”

The play also features Munish Sharma as Buster, the town sheriff.

All three of the actors in Misery have worked in previous Arts Club productions, and the stage lights shine brightest on Frangione and McNee this time around.

“Casting such warm and fearless performers as Lucia Frangione and Andrew McNee adds some humanity to this classic thriller,” Ditor adds. “In them we have people to root for and identify with in a way that makes the most of experiencing this story live.”

Other members of the play’s creative team include Lauchlin Johnston (set design), Stephanie Kong (costume design), Andrew Pye (lighting design), Murray Price (original music and sound design), Rick Rinder (stage manager) and Shelby Bushell (apprentice stage manager).

At Surrey Arts Centre, the opening-night date (Wednesday, Jan. 10) is a chance for patrons to “relax, socialize, and enjoy complimentary appetizers” from 6:30 p.m. Other special events during the run of the play include First Friday (“enjoy dessert and coffee after the show—with a chance to meet the actors!” on Jan. 12), a Paint at the Play Art Camp (for kids, while adults enjoy the Jan. 13 matinee), a Talkback Thursday (“stay in the theatre after the show for a chat with the actors,” on Jan. 18), and a VocalEye staging (live audio description for patrons with visual impairment, on Jan. 20, 4 p.m.).

Tickets for Misery range from $29 to $49 at the venue box office. Call 604-501-5566 for details, or visit tickets.surrey.ca.

The show comes with an audience advisory for mature themes, strong language and some violence.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Tom on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Civilian oversight of Surrey police deemed ‘fundamental’

Surrey Police Board executive director says inaugural meeting showcased passion, focus

SPCA partners with Crime Stoppers

Many call in to the SPCA, but want to remain anonymous: Eccles

Surrey council sets new rules for Good Citizen of the Year award

Candidates have more hurdles to jump before getting nominated for the prestigious local title

‘Best of Cloverdale’ contest returns

Voters can cast ballots once a day until Sept. 5; enter to win $250 gift card for Save-On-Foods

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

Hobo Cannabis renamed Dutch Love after backlash

Hobo Cannabis has various locations in Vancouver, Kelowna and Ottawa

Man accused of killing Red Deer doctor says he does not remember attack

Appearing before a judge, Deng Mabiour, 54, rambled about being sick and needing a doctor

Driver maces pedestrian after hit and run in Langley City

Police were on the scene at Michaud Crescent Wednesday morning

Teen killer Kelly Ellard gets day parole extension, allowing up to 5 days at home

Ellard is serving a life sentence for the 1997 murder of 14-year-old Reena Virk

Andrew Scheer likely marking last day in House of Commons as Opposition leader

Today’s Commons sitting is one of two scheduled for August

Deaths feared after train derails amid storms in Scotland

Stonehaven is on the line for passenger trains linking Aberdeen with the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow

Most Read