Brendan Behan’s The Hostage is, “bright and bawdy, irreverent and tender” at CHT says Peter Heck in his review. Pat Patterson directs this dark Irish comedy that runs through November 18, with performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 2 pm. Reservations can be made by calling 410-556-6003 or online at churchhilltheatre.org.
Set in 1960 Ireland, between the glory days of Easter Uprising and the horrors of the Troubles, Irish nationalism flourishes but is without firm direction. Pat and Meg, who run an informal brothel in Monsewer’s house, reluctantly agree to house a British hostage seized by the IRA in hopes of saving a condemned Irish terrorist. But the ensuing mix of part-time militiamen, prostitutes, and nostalgic patriots leads to confusion and misunderstandings. Heck notes that, “The Hostage is an exhilarating experience with a talented cast delivering a script that ranges from the scurrilous to the poetic – sometimes hitting both extremes in a matter of moments.”
Christopher Wallace plays Pat, the landlord; Christine Kinlock plays his consort, Meg; and Herb Ziegler plays Monsewer, the Anglo-Irish owner of the house. Max Hagan portrays the hostage, Leslie Williams. Residents include two prostitutes (one mostly retired), played by Natalie Lane and Michelle Christopher; a seedy civil servant and an improbable social worker, played by Howard Mesick and Hester Sachse; and a couple of promiscuous men of fluid gender, played by Michael Moore and Kellan Paddy. Maya McGrory plays Teresa, the young and innocent housemaid. An extremist IRA officer is played by Paul Briggs, assisted by an eager volunteer played by Eamon Murphy. Troy Strootman is a Russian sailor, perhaps the only one in the house with money in his pocket.Julie Lawrence, the show’s Music Director, and Phil Dutton take turns playing Kelly, an onstage presence throughout the play, providing piano accompaniment for songs, a friendly place to sit, and even cash when the beer runs out.
Patterson’s production team includes Producer Sylvia Maloney, Set Designer Michael Whitehill, Choreographer Cavin Moore, Costumer Juanita Wieczoerck, Lighting Designer Douglas Kaufmann, Dialect Coach Sally Borghardt, Photographer Steve Atkinson and Sound Designer Kat Melton. Stage Manager Sheila Austrian and her assistant Speedy Christopher work behind the scenes. Randy Welch, the bagpipe consultant, recorded music especially for the show and provided a full piper’s kit for Monsewer.
‘The Hostage’ runs from November 2-18 at 103 Walnut Street, Church Hill, MD 21623. Shows are on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm and on Sundays at 2:00 pm.
For tickets, call 410-556-6003 or online.