"In this day and age where everything is served to us on social media and the Internet, it’s nice to not know things and be part of a journey to a truth.” This is what Miguel Faustmann, director of the play The Games Afoot, would best describe the state of our society right now.
A whodunit play that has several traces of comedy, The Games Afoot interacts with its audience as it provides visual clues and soundbites throughout the play, its conclusion open to different interpretations. Whether it may be the bubbly and determined Aggie Wheeler, the sweet and enthusiastic Simon Bright, or the dashing and imaginative William Gillette, every character in The Games Afoot is a suspect in the death of film critic Daria Chase, known for her temperemental and fierce attitude, at the Gillette residence.
With the play’s overall structure, it is not easy for the audience to determine who the real killer is among the characters, be it before or after the shooting of Gillette during his Sherlock Holmes performance (in real life, Gillette was personally selected by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to portray Sherlock Holmes for the longest time). It’s important for the audience to pay attention to the details, from the movement of the characters (whether they are serious or not) to missing pieces (whether it may be the daggers on display or hidden switches) on the set, in order to come up with a sensible explanation on the mystery at the Gillette residence.
However, just like the Internet and social media, not all elements presented in the play should be given due attention. Being a detective-themed play with lots of humor, there are some things that can confuse the audience in determining the real killer, making The Games Afoot a play that challenges the audience in choosing the right clues. For example, some of the rooms at the Gillette residence are concealed hidden switches that can accidentally hide any of its visitors.
Being an open-ended play, the audience will end up leaving the theater still intrigued at who is the real killer, with each of them coming up with different conclusions. In the end, the clues the audience have gathered throughout the play will determine who they think is Chase’s killer at the Gillette residence.
“Mysteries are always popular; everybody likes a mystery”, remarked veteran theater actress Joy Virata, who played the role of Martha Gillette. After all, The Games Afoot can be likened to social media: while it provides a lot of clues and information, not all of them are deemed to be true and beneficial to us.
The Cast of The Games Afoot: (1st row) Nathalie Everett, Mica Pineda, Joy Virata, Pinky Amador, Christine Flores, Jeremy Domingo, (2nd row) Hans Eckstein, Paul Holme, Director Miguel Faustmann
The Games Afoot runs from January 15 to February 7 at Onstage Theater, Greenbelt 1, Makati City. You can purchase tickets through Ticketworld or Repertory Philippines.
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