Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Surprise

Did you see it? Want to talk about it? The combox is awaiting for you!

I saw it and loved it. It brought back many good memories of the conference where it was performed. There were some new touches, especially the scenery; but also Dale's cockney accent seemed new.

I also noted some dubbing, and I wondered what that was all about. Especially at the end of Act One where the Poet, Oliver, says "My God! The Surprise!"--we noticed it was dubbed "Oh Yes! The Surprise!" or perhaps just "Yes! The Surprise!"

Dale and Mark were great as the guards, Dale's drunken performance was spot on with that gorgonzola cheese remark. Kevin O'Brien's performance was great, very believeable and natural, his acting abilities shine. Similarly, the Author, Jeremy? I think...gave a great performance.

The two lovely ladies, Ashley and Catherine, gave wonderfully good performances as the Princess and her lady in waiting, Donna Maria Margareta. And the prince, Julian, was regally handsome and swashbuckling in his swordplay.

What fun! I hope the person who agreed to tape it for me did tape it. But if you want to see it again (or missed it last night) it will be on EWTN again on Monday afternoon, Christmas Eve.
11AM Rocky
10AM Pacific


  1. I watched it and taped it last night (yes, I still have that thing they call a VCR). Wonderful play and great performances. I was impressed with the actors who had to rattle off long stretches of monologue and dialogue.

    As I noted in another blog comment, I caught a couple typos in the ending credits (so you may want to try an correct them when you're ready to put it on DVD for sale): ("The Suprise" and "Mark Shae"... oops.)

    :D hehehe

    P.S. I would encourage the ACS to try and get Catholic colleges and universities that have Theatre Departments to perform this play on campus with their theatre students!

  2. I loved it! I could gush on for paragraphs, but I'd love to hear others' comments.

    Ashley was radiant as the Princess; she made me laugh with tears at "How long I have waited for my serenade!"

    And tell Catherine that I was in tears during her ode to Obedience...

    Deacon Nathan was so lovable as the saintly friar... I wish he had more lines.

    Kevin, Jeremy, and those oafish guardmen were great too.

    I can't wait to buy the DVD!

  3. Alas! After planning all day to watch, I got sidetracked by children and only managed to catch the last 20min. or so. But that much was great and I can't wait to see it in its entirety.

  4. I don't know who to talk to about a DVD, but I sure hope it's in the plans.

    Both my daughters loved it, and can't wait to see it again. It will be on today, but we have a family party that will prevent us from seeing it. I hope it will be repeated soon on EWTN or they'll make the DVD available.

    My younger one said the best part was when the play starts over again, but it all goes wrong. She especially liked the drunken guard and poet (where he says he can't take the wine because he's had some already!).

  5. I forgot to mention: Our family loved all of the little details... like the regally ornate wine bottle.

    Let us not forget Julian's masterful editing... not a clumsy transition anywhere! It will be fun to watch the telecast many times over, and Julian's editing deserves much of the credit.

    My only complaint: I was ready for a Third Act! Julian and Catherine, Dale and Mark all deserve more lines!

    And a sermon from Deacon Nathan, too!

  6. Bravo! It really was fantastic. Kevin O'Brien gave a superb performance, keeping those long (but enthralling) monologues doubly interesting with his clear and humorous acting style. The young ladies were both delightful and "surprising," (I think I liked best how well Miss Alhquist was able to change from the perfect, sweet-tempered princess to a vengeful, indignant woman, and the inspiring speech on obedience and it's connection to freedom; believably and entertainingly done!)The King was just as he ought to be! The poet and the friar were both well acted. And lastly, Mr. Shea and Mr. Alhquist had me aching with laughter--- they must have had so much fun doing that.

    But--ah! Only Chesterton could write a play like that! The perfect mix of humour, drama, and moral was Chesterton!;-) I loved it.

    The best part came, however, with Mr. Alhquist's explanation of it after the end. As he explained Chesterton's meaning behind the play, I cried: "YES! I get it! Brilliant! BRAVO!" It really is a fascinating concept, cleverly told.

    My favorite lines:

    "I can talk the hind leg off a donkey, though that's a perfectly useless thing to do to a perfectly useful animal."


    "What on earth are you doing to my play! Stop! Drop everything! I'M COMING DOWN." When Alhquist explained the meaning of this, I slapped my forehead! But of course! :)

    What a lovely play for Christmas! :) Extend my thank you, if you can, to all involved, for a wonderful production well worthy of its author.

    God Bless!

  7. I forgot to say, too, that the pre-and post- play commentary by Dale really added to the whole thing. Especially the post, which helped to transition from that abrupt ending.

    And also, it seemed to me to very appropriate for it to be shown just before Christmas. Although there was nothing overtly "Christmasy" about it, except that last line, which makes the whole play understandable.

    I thought of the play at Christmas mass last night. "Wait a minute! I'll come down!" So beautiful. So thought-provoking, as only Chesterton can accomplish with one little play!


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