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Vertigo Theatre presents Christie’s The Hollow

By Rachel Woodward, November 15 2016 —

As a continuation of their mystery-themed 40th season, Vertigo Theatre will present Agatha Christie’s mystery classic The Hollow as the second installment of the BD&P Mystery Theatre series.

The detective-fiction whodunit tells a murder mystery with a large cast and many motives. Actress Lara Schmitz says that the tale fits perfectly in this year’s suspenseful season at Vertigo.

“First of all, it’s an Agatha Christie — a murder mystery queen — but I think it’s an exceptionally well-crafted show. Reading it for the first time and then continuously throughout rehearsals, even though I know exactly who’s done what, I’m still watching these scenes and thinking ‘that person has a reason to do it,’ so it’s built so well so that almost everyone could be the [culprit],” she says. “It builds up that suspicion and the whole script sets up each character as a potential.”

Schmitz plays Doris, the new housekeeper at the Hollow -— the estate of Sir Henry and Lucy Angkatell. Doris doesn’t fit in this tightly-run household and struggles to stay afloat working in the home that is known for its quality of service.

As a story that carries the conventions of a mystery, Schmitz feels that the script does justice to its characters.

“It is a play that keeps the audience on their toes. I also think along with the mystery, there’s so much depth to all these characters,” she says. “I want people to come out of it really in love with these characters and to be shocked to see how it all work[s] out. It’s really satisfying to know at the end.”

A University of Calgary alumna, Schmitz has worked with various theatre companies around the city but will make her Vertigo debut with this play.

“It’s been a wonderful experience. It’s a 12-person cast, which is not a common thing. It’s a very rare chance to work with so many wonderful artists and the director is phenomenal,” she says. “There’s a real community being represented on the stage that I would say are some of Calgary’s best. It’s truly a pleasure and honour as a young artist to be able to work with them.”

Once the play’s run is over, Schmitz is set to assistant direct the Shakespeare Company’s All’s Well That Ends Well in January alongside director Peter Hinton.

The Hollow is directed by Jan Alexandra Smith and will run at Vertigo through Dec. 11. Tickets are available online.

For more information, visit vertigotheatre.com

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