You Can’t Get There From Here
Review by Chris McGarry
On July 3 a small though energetic crowd laughed their way through Pat Cook’s You Can’t Get There From Here, which debuted on the stage of the King’s Playhouse in Georgetown.
In this delightfully comedic romp, the audience finds themselves in the dull, backwards town of Shadow Falls. Arthur (Tristan Lewis), a big-city news reporter with a big-city attitude to match, gets stranded in Shadow Falls after his car is damaged driving over a huge pothole in the centre of the town’s main drag.
The young, intrepid reporter heads over to Mavis Garner’s Bed and Breakfast, which doubles as Shadow Falls’ administration offices. Arthur receives a rather cool reception from the artsy, somewhat peculiar Myrtle (Annie Bungay) and Liz (Toby Murphy), owner of the B&B, who has a very stern, bureaucratic approach to running the office.
So put off by his impolite treatment (particularly at being nickled and dimed) Arthur decides to write a story exposing small town corruption. At the same time, the gutsy journalist reveals his true reason for being in this backwater community: He’s searching for a famous writer named Lilith Mansfield who once lived in the town. She had been a Pulitzer Prize winner who disappeared without a trace six years earlier.
As luck would have it, Arthur’s car won’t be fixed until the next day and he is forced to spend the night at the B&B. The young man’s less-than-favorable impression of the town changes when he begins to fall for the sweet, perky Ann (Alex Durant) and gets to the know Queenie (Kate Haines), the inquisitive editor of the Shadow Falls Sun. Arthur has such a change of heart that he calls up his editor and tells him to pull the demeaning article about Shadow Falls.
This move prompts a surprise visit from Arthur’s incensed editor, Danny Van Damm (Dalton MacKenzie), a demanding, unforgiving boss who has the personality of a rattlesnake. Believing Arthur is hiding important information about the Mansfield case, Van Damm fires him on the spot. At that moment, the newspaper’s chief editor, Horace McClintock (Jamie Cordes) arrives and fires the nasty Van Damm. The story wraps up with quite a shocking though pleasing ending where the audience finds out who some of the characters truly are.
Taking everything into consideration, You Can’t Get There From Here is a fairly enjoyable theatregoing experience. All of the cast members performed their varied roles with the fullest vigour and heartiness.
The cast featured some familiar faces around the theatre including Toby Murphy, who is in her fourth summer with the King’s Players. You Can’t Get There From Here was directed by Amanda Mullally, who starred alongside Tristan Lewis in last summer’s charmingly sweet family comedy The Great Ice Cream Scheme.
Well-constructed sets added a genuine sense of realism to this most enjoyable production, which plays every Wednesday until the end of August.