The Birds Are In The House

Have you ever seen the Alfred Hitchcock classic horror, The Birds?

It starts out innocently enough with a beautiful woman — Tippi Hedren — making small talk with a handsome man — in a pet shop. They are flirtatious and like most of the slow burns of Hitchcock horrors the characters slowly start to realize that they are trapped, much like the old adage "a bird in the house."

If you know old lore you know that is very bad luck.

Such is the case with New Vintage Theatre's fall offerings, Blackbird and Mockingbird Close running Oct.17-21 at The Black Box Theatre.

While the plays are completely different in tone and subject matter, the feeling of being enclosed and trapped is a common sensation for the characters. The result are two compelling offerings that are must see plays this season.

Blackbird is the story of a young woman, Una, (played by Hillary Omoe) who corners a man named Ray (played by Doug Brown) in the middle of his busy office and demands she talk to him about an abuse she suffered 15 years earlier. 

He is the abuser. Ray has done his time, suffered the humiliation, loss of employment and has changed his name. He has a new life and things are fine until Una storms in and demands he meet with her.

It is terrifying, energetic and heartbreaking and nothing like I have ever worked on before.

At our dress rehearsal, my knees literally knocked together in fear watching their intensity and I know the play.

Mockingbird Close is a bird of a different feather, a fairytale for adults. Iris (Hailey Sabourin) and Hank (Graham Daley) are a couple in "a perfect 1950s suburban bungalow, on a quiet, safe, suburban street."

One night at a cocktail party their son goes missing.

At first they blame each other for losing track of him-"You smelled like liquor," Hank accuses, while Iris quips, "You smelled like perfume."

But soon it becomes apparent that their son is gone they are forced to go out into their crescent Mockingbird Close" and ask their very unusual neighbours if they have seen him.

What they discover is that the residents of Mockingbird Close all have secrets, some of them deadly, making this a Twin Peaks-Mad Men style who dun it that is fun and scary.

Both plays are Kelowna premieres and Mockingbird Close is a B.C. premiere. To add to the excitement acclaimed "bad boy" of Canadian theatre, Trevor Schmidt, will be coming to see his play Mockingbird Close as and will be at post-show parties every night to talk about his weird, wonderful work. 

Wine sponsor for the event is Back Door Winery.

Audiences will not want to miss these frightening works-they are simply like nothing ever seen in Kelowna that will keep you thinking and talking long after you have left the theatre.

Blackbird — 7 p.m,, Oct. 17-20

Mockingbird Close — 9 p.m,, Oct. 17-20; Oct.21 at 7 p,m,

Tickets, $25, are available from www.selectyourtickets.com, Prospera Place box office or are $35 at the door.

Buy a two show pass for $40.


Comments are pre-moderated to ensure they meet our guidelines. Approval times will vary. Keep it civil, and stay on topic. If you see an inappropriate comment, please use the ‘flag’ feature. Comments are the opinions of the comment writer, not of Castanet. Comments remain open for one day after a story is published and are closed on weekends. Visit Castanet’s Forums to start or join a discussion about this story.

More Bonnie on Stage articles

About the Author

Bonnie Gratz is an actor, director, and playwright. She is the Artistic Director of Kelowna's New Vintage Theatre, and a member of the Playwright's Guild of Canada and The Literary and Dramaturges of North America. 

For more on Bonnie, check out www.bonnie-gratz.com or check out www.newvintage.ca

Contact Bonnie at:  [email protected]


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

Previous Stories