Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Pack of Lies"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2010 by Tony Annicone

"Pack of Lies"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

The second show of Walpole Footlighters 86th season is the 1983 drama, "Pack of Lies" by British writer, Hugh Whitemore. Bob and Barbara Jackson are a nice middle-aged English couple with their daughter, Julie. Their best friends are a charming and friendly Canadian couple named Kroger. All is blissful in their world until a detective from Scotland Yard asks to use their house as an observation station to try and foil a Soviet spy ring operating in the area. The Jackson family becomes more and more put out as Scotland Yard's demands on them increase. Suspicion mounts when their best friends are suspected as being part of the ring then they become more and more frustrated and angry as the situation spirals further and further out of their control. Finally there are no excuses left and, feeling hurt and betrayed, the Jacksons are really put to the test when the detective asks them to help set a trap. Should they betray their friends? They face an excruciating moral choice between friendship and duty. It is based on a real life spy scandal in Britain in the 1960's. Director Frank Moffett chose the best 8 people for the roles, keeping the audience on the edge of their seats in anticipation of what will happen. The show keeps you guessing to the final moments.

Frank is aided in his task by assistant director Dawn Labrie. He and Dan Sheehan designed the gorgeous Jackson home set. Stage manager Colleen Lavery keeps things moving smoothly all night long. Some of the characters narrate some of the scenes to reveal what is happening. Leading the cast is Michael Dornish and Cathy Larson as Bob and Barbara Jackson. He plays an airplane designer who is very easy going while his wife becomes more unhinged as the show progresses. Cathy has an outstanding and powerful moment of anguish in the second act that is stunning. Peter and Helen Kroger are played by Peter McIhinney and Martha Cavanaugh. His character is intellectual and clumsy while she is outgoing and effervescent. Martha livens up the show during her scenes with her dynamic characterization. Glenn Ryan is dynamite as Detective Stewart with his enormous amounts of dialogue as he explains the KGB activities. His character annoys the Jacksons to no end. Their daughter, Julie is beautifully played by Madeline Phillips. She captures the teenage girl's behavior wonderfully. Rounding out the cast are Sarah Rocca and Jes Maxfield as Thelma and Sally. Betrayal, mistrust and broken promises are all that is left of their former friendship. The show has many twists and turns that I can't reveal here. So for an intriguing evening of drama, be sure to catch "Pack of Lies" at Walpole Footlighters.

"Pack of Lies" (5 - 21 February)
WALPOLE FOOTLIGHTERS
@ 5 Scout Road, EAST WALPOLE MA
1(508)668-8446

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

| MARQUEE | USHER | SEATS | INTERMISSION | CURTAIN |