Ravenscroft is a classic case of a whodunit, but with a Gothic thriller twist: Inspector Ruffing is called to an English country manor to investigate the mysterious death of a servant whose demise involved a headlong plunge down the main staircase—did he fall? Did he jump? Or was he pushed? Ruffing is met by five women of the house, leading him into a labyrinth of intricate, contradictory stories of the servant’s death. Ruffing must unravel the truth from the lies and figure out what happened.
The Clue-like nature of the script fits perfectly in the Halloween trajectory, which was a reason for Walterdale Theatre to open up its 57th season with the Don Nigro script.
“The author definitely took inspiration [from Clue] and we definitely played with that, too,” director Madeleine Stout says over the phone. “I liked the idea of how self-contained Clue was. This perfect mystery in this self-contained house.”
Having worked with Nigro’s scripts twice before, Stout chose this one for its “practicality”—the cast consists of five females and one male; meanwhile, Walterdale Theatre’s stage was perfect in housing all cast members on stage at the same time, which is adamant in Nigro’s script—and its character development.
“I really like his style and his way of writing, and I find it quite effortless to direct in some ways,” she explains. “His characters are really wonderful and great to work with. It’s fun to work on a script that is based on character development rather than necessarily a strong plot.”
Ravenscroft marks the first show for Walterdale Theatre’s 57th season, but also marks Stout’s directing debut at Walterdale Theatre and first time directing a full-length show. Previously, Stout worked exclusively with one-act varieties.
“One-acts are wonderful, and I love them. But the only place you can do them is festivals and competitions, which can be really stressful because you only get one shot. If it goes well, you go to the next level and you get one more shot. All that work for one show. It’s really nice to actually have a run and all that jazz.”
Until Sat, Oct 24 (7:30 pm)
Directed by Madeleine Stout
Walterdale Theatre, $12 – $18