Meet John Evans, Charles Condomine in Blithe Spirit

65369_10151240055015469_688811349_n[2]What is your role in this production?  I’m playing Charles Condomine. He is a writer in search of his next great idea. He decides to write a novel about a “hack” Medium and what better way to get inspiration then to throw a dinner party and invite one? I was drawn to Charles because he is somewhat suave but a lot of what he says also has some biting wit or sarcasm to it which is always great fun to play.

Why did you come out for Blithe Spirit? I had seen a production of it many year ago and, although I couldn’t recall too much of the plot, I remembered that I greatly enjoyed it. I then looked at the script and remembered why: It has a lovely charm to it. It’s by no means a “fluff piece” but at the same time it isn’t trying to go out of its way to be profound. It certainly indicates what may happen if you do things you shouldn’t but it in no way hammers home any moral lesson and I like that. It’s something that can be watched or enjoyed just for the sheer fun of it. Having said all that, the language is quite verbose and eloquent so it was great fun wrapping my mind and lips around some of the dialogue

What is your background in Theatre? I got the bug in Junior high and never looked back. That was my first official taste anyway. I had been a Shepherd at church for nativity plays when I was a child but my first real role came as Martin in grade seven for a production of Cinderella. I still remember my first line : “I got the pumpkin you wanted Miss Ella. I got the biggest one I could find.” After that I kept the theatre train rolling all the way to a Degree through RDC in Theatre Studies. Since then I have done various shows for Walterdale, and Horizon stage and Festival place etc. My Wife Kat and I also have a production company called The October People Productions where we do special effect and costumes etc. for film and theatre so I guess you could say I’m fairly immersed in it.

What do you most connect to about the play? I greatly enjoy that it is quite whimsical and frivolous as far as shows go. It was written at a time when people were quite stressed in their day-to- day lives because it was War times so it was a great piece of escapism. I think today we may not face the same fears they did then but we definitely still live rather stressful lives so it’s nice to have something to escape to that is fun and ( hopefully) doesn’t relate to our actual lives much.

Blithe Spirit involves ghost and psychics, any stories about that from your own life? I grew up in Red Deer so there was always a healthy respect for the Cronquist House which was down by Bower Ponds. It was said to be very haunted so that was my first real exposure to it. I do remember being down there at night on one occasion and thinking I saw a child’s face up in the window of the top floor and that was certainly enough to prick the hairs on the back of your neck. Doing some set work inside the Mercer Warehouse for a movie shoot I remember everyone had left for lunch or something and I was left there to do some set decoration by myself. I remember seeing out of the corner of my eye a gentleman leaning against the door frame just watching me. I turned and obviously there was no one there but those little moments you get that feeling that someone is watching you is both terrifying to me but exhilarating.

What do you enjoy most about doing a Noel Coward play? It’s very quick paced and intelligent. He writes on many levels so even now as we are doing the scene we are discovering little jokes he has written in for the audience of the time and little innuendos that if you’re not watching or listening carefully you may miss. I love that because it is impossible as an actor to ever feel the piece is getting stale for you. You just keep finding new moments to play with.

What are you enjoying the most about this production? I would say all of the things listed above along with a heaping helping of the most fabulous and dedicated people. Everyone is so involved in this show. They sincerely want it to be the best it can be and when you are working as part of a team like that it really feeds you to love it and give it your all.

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