Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Dangerous Corner offers intrigue, suspense and a healthy dose of ‘what if?’

By Tamara Letkeman, doug Editor

When a chance remark at a high-society dinner reveals a web of dark secrets, the consequences are devastating for the guests. But what if the remark had never been made?

J.B. Priestley's Dangerous Corner, the latest production by the Douglas College Theatre and Stagecraft & Event Technology departments (Nov. 2-10), follows a group of wealthy connected friends who come together for a party in the early 1930s. A single remark by the hostess leads to tragedy after it sparks a revelation of painful secrets around a suicide, embezzlement and betrayal - in which all the guests are involved.

But near the end of the play, time moves back to the beginning of the evening. The remark is not made, and the "dangerous corner" is avoided.

Thrasso Petras, director, says it's this small alteration that makes Dangerous Corner - a play of intrigue and suspense - more than just a parlour-room drama or murder mystery.

"It's not just a scandalous little piece of theatre," he says. "It makes us think. We talk to people all the time, and who knows what we're not getting from them? When we talk to someone at the right time in the right place and in the right mood, we can have a completely different conversation. They might suddenly reveal something to us."

Petras says he decided to set the play in its original time period because the things the characters reveal - matters of sexuality, for instance - would not be shocking in modern society.

"Others have tried to make it contemporary, but it doesn't really work. There is something about the 1930s, where people tried to hide things about themselves much more consciously. There were very specific consequences surrounding how people chose to live their lives."

Dangerous Corner runs Nov. 2-10 at the Studio Theatre, Douglas College, 4100-700 Royal Ave., New Westminster. Tickets ($8-$12) are available through the Massey Theatre, 604 521 5050.