What would you do if you won an entire town in a card game?
That’s the situation facing retired Air Force Colonel John Hicks in the NoneSuch Playmakers’ original three-act comedy “Hicksville,” which premieres in Mount Airy on July 14.
With one winning poker hand, Colonel Hicks (Garry Wadell) suddenly finds himself appointed as the owner and administrator of Clutterbuck, a tiny fishing village on the northeast coast of England. At first it sounds like a dream come true, but Hicks soon discovers that instead of being a charming “postcard” town, Clutterbuck is a hot mess. The village is bankrupt, stuck in the past and populated by an odd assortment of characters who would feel at home in a Monty Python sketch.
There’s the excitable mayor, Friendly Cammish (Scott Carpenter), who punctuates his sentences with the names of golden age Hollywood stars (“Jimmy Cagney’s hairline!”); clueless village secretary Alice Whatley (Angela Llewellyn), Clutterbuck’s most enthusiastic cheerleader; Pip and Flit Torrence (Colin Anderson and Olivia Jessup), a bickering couple who run the local pub; Frank Mahoney (Jake Pack), a foul-tempered Irishman who operates Clutterbuck’s rundown hotel; young Audrey Quick (Madison Mallory), the village’s brainy but socially inept clerk; Abigail Lofthouse (Kristie McMillan), a disagreeable descendant of Clutterbuck’s founding father; and Cyril Hawtrey (Brian Greene), a crusty old hermit who packs a pistol and a bad attitude.
With time running out, bills piling up and no help from the villagers, Colonel Hicks desperately searches for a way to put Clutterbuck on its financial feet again. He finds an ally in Constable Leigh Smith-Wallace (Angela Bryant), Clutterbuck’s only police officer. Her collaboration with Hicks slowly blossoms into a flirtation that could become a romance—if the local gossip network doesn’t shoot it down first.
Complicating matters further is the presence of Rebecca Comstock (Jessica Llewellyn), a cold-hearted London bureaucrat who delivers more bad news for Clutterbuck and its helpless citizens.
Will Colonel Hicks find an answer to Clutterbuck’s dilemma? Can the village be saved? Will the hero get the girl? NoneSuch co-founder Brack Llewellyn, who wrote “Hicksville,” says “of course.”
“We definitely have a happy ending,” Llewellyn said. “This is a comedy, after all. ‘Hicksville’ doesn’t really have any heavy messages. It’s lighthearted and a little absurd. We hope it’s fun for the audience. That’s our goal.”
“Our entire 2017 season is built around laughter and uplifting themes,” he continued.
“With so much bad news bombarding everyone from all sides these days, we wanted to give our audiences some opportunities to relax and laugh this year. They can come and sit in a comfortable, darkened room and hopefully be transported to some happier places, at least for a couple of hours. ‘Hicksville’ is part of that.”
Three performances of “Hicksville” are scheduled at the L.H. Jones Auditorium at 215 Jones School Road in Mount Airy: Friday, July 14 at 7 p.m., Saturday, July 15 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, July 16 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased in advance at the Surry County Senior Center in the Jones Family Resource Center, or through cast members.
To reserve tickets, call Senior Center Manager Jane Surratt at 336-786-6155 extension 225. Tickets will also be available at the door. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Senior Center.
“Hicksville” includes some adult language and themes. It is not recommended for children under age 13.