This past Friday, I had the opportunity to take in The Noble Pursuit at the Ottawa Little Theatre. The building has undergone extensive renovations since the last time I was there and I must say, the space looks great! The volunteers stationed at the entrance greeted us warmly and those working the bar encouraged us to enjoy the show, creating a very welcoming atmosphere.
As soon as the curtain rose, I found myself highly impressed with Kyle Alhuwalia’s set design, and as the play went on, my admiration only grew. His set put the fun in functional: the many doors and windows serving their farcical purposes perfectly, while the colourful aquarium provided a playful focal point.
Despite the stellar set design, the acting was the true highlight of this production. All of the actors played their roles with admirable dexterity, balancing realistic dialogue with farcical physical comedy. That being said, Josh Sparks, who plays Lyle Lemmerman, stood out even among such a strong cast. Whether he was brilliantly imitating his castmate’s accent, climbing in and falling out of windows or delivering a wordy monologue, he never missed a beat.
Another one of the joys of the production was the undeniable Canadiana. Jokes about CBC radio’s Shelagh Rogers, famous author Margaret Atwood and controversial Queen’s University had the audience roaring. For this, I thank the playwright, Ottawa-raised Douglas Bowie, with whom there will be a talkback Sunday, June 18 after the 2:30 pm matinee.
Overall, it was an enjoyable night of theatre and I applaud the efforts of all involved. The Noble Pursuit plays at the Ottawa Little Theatre until June 24th. Get your tickets at https://tickets.ottawalittletheatre.com/TheatreManager/1/login?event=0