The Arts

Blood in the Alley Productions – Donal O’Kelly’s Catalpa

Blood in the Alley Productions – Donal O’Kelly’s Catalpa featured image

Paula Citron
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Catalpa
Blood in the Alley Productions
Written by Donal O’Kelly
Directed by Geoff Gould
Starring Andrew Musselman
Diesel Playhouse until Oct. 5
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Catalpa is an absorbing little show that may have slipped under the radar. Written by award-winning Irish playwright Donal O’Kelly, it features Canadian actor Andrew Musselman. Catalpa is imaginatively directed and lit by London, England-based Geoff Gould and Elizabeth Powell respectively.

Often plays that feature a single actor doing all the characters and all the sound effects are comedies. Catalpa is anything but, which makes it all the more daring. Because it is based on a true story, Musselman has to be all the more believable in capturing our attention while he breaks the fourth wall.

In 1875, the whaling ship Catalpa set out from New Bedford, Massachusetts on a secret mission. It sailed to Freemantle, Western Australia to rescue six prisoners sent there by the British as members of the outlawed Irish Fenian Brotherhood.

That Musselman tells this harrowing story in all its vivid detail is a formidable acting feat.

Catalpa continues at the Diesel Playhouse until Oct. 5.

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