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Murder at Rundown Abbey play review

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  In late October and Early November, Serrano High School’s Bravo Performance Ensemble performed a spoof titled Murder at Rundown Abbey that parodies (I think you can guess it) the popular television series  Downton Abbey. They play included a satirical elements of the detective genre and period drama.

  In a manor house located in the countryside of England, the Crumble Downs and their family are haunted by death. Luckily, Sam Splayed, a detective, is in desperate need of a case to help out with his finances. Sam Splayed goes undercover in the Crumble Down’s manor as the new butler to investigate the mysterious deaths. While in the manor house, he has a rocky start, but when his assistant, Kitty Katz, helps move the case forward by acting like a psychic and discovers people are being killed by a poisonous dart. After this discovery the family begins to worry.

   I attended the play twice seeing both casts, blue and gold. Both casts performed the play very well and, at times, very different. One thing about the play the stood out to me, is that the senior female actresses stole the show. Not to say that the male actors were not terrific (they were great!), but the ladies were phenomenal

   In the blue cast, senior actress Hannah Steinmann, a well-rounded performer, played the role of Kitty Katz. She added a whole new element to her character. Not only did she play the part, but added personal touches that added a comical effect to the play. Hannah, for example, did little things like make faces and do arm movements that made the audience laugh. She played the part even when her character wasn’t in the spotlight. Her part was a difficult part to play just by the accent itself. She had to change her voice while performing to have a Brooklyn accent, and she did very well at this. In her biography in the play bill, Hannah writes, “I have been in theater since I was very young and have been involved with over 55 productions.” I could tell by her great acting skills that she already has tremendous experience in theater.  

 In the gold cast, senior actress Victoria Randall, another decorated performer, played the role of Sybil Snodley-Snippett. Knowing Victoria personally, she is a very joyful and outgoing person. This role was the complete opposite. She had to play a role of an old woman who is very serious and grumpy. She played the role excellently. The tone of her voice, the look, and her whole persona matched the character. Seeing her play a role that was so different then herself was great. It really proved that she is an incredible actress who can play almost any role. She has played roles varying in all genres, including Sally in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown and Belle from Beauty and the Beast.

  Various other senior actresses added a unique touch to the play.

  Senior actress Jaycee Favela played in the gold cast as Kitty Katz. Her Brooklyn accent was not only exceptional but believable, and her ability to make the audience laugh was great as well.. If I did not know her I would have thought she was from Brooklyn.

   Senior actress Hayley Shuagis in the gold cast played Annie Pennywise and gave the play an emotional touch as she expressed her forbidden love for Reggie Snodley-Snippet.

   Senior actress Sarah Wilcox played Lady Pamela Crumble Down in the blue cast. Sarah played a loving wife with real concern for her husband, Lord Percival Crumble Down. She was able to perform with the compassion and comedic effect needed for the part.

  A notable male actor in the blue cast was Dexter Martin who played Sam Splayed. Dexter is a very talented actor who has been in various musicals and plays for the past eight years. The audience had ample evidence of why Martin was recently selected as “Most Likely to be Famous” in a Yearbook student poll.

   In the gold cast there were two especially notable actors; Ty Rogoff and Xavier Fortman. Ty is a junior who played Lord Percival Crubledown. Ty did an excellent job with facial expressions and keeping character even when the spotlight was not on him. Xavier is a junior who played Reggie Snodley-Snippet. Xavier did a great job having the passion for Annie needed for his part.

   Serrano’s theatre program once again upholds its tradition of excellent performances. The theatre department has so many great actors and actresses. Their next play will be Les Misérables in March and I highly recommend seeing it.

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Murder at Rundown Abbey play review