One of the longest running Broadway thrillers in history, this clever play offers a rare and skillful blend of suspense and humor, making audiences scream with both laughter and terror! Sidney Bruhl, a once-successful writer of Broadway thrillers, is struggling to overcome a pattern of failures and a shortage of funds. A change of fortune occurs when he receives a script on his desk from a student – a thriller which Sidney immediately sees as a future Broadway hit. Sidney and his wife devise a scheme to publish it under his own name, and he’s willing to do just about anything to pull it off . A murder mystery so wickedly good, it’s delicious evening of thrills, laughs, and gasps!
One of the Longest Running Broadway Thrillers in History
By Ira Levin
Welcome to the Mayfield Dinner Theatre and welcome to the DoubleTree by Hilton West Edmonton, our new home! You are in for a great evening of theatre! Deathtrap is a mind-bending thriller that switches from the comedic to dramatic with every twist and turn of plot. This classic “play inside a play” is also one of Broadway’s biggest hits, running for four years with almost 1800 performances (1978-1982). It is the perfect blend of a comedy thriller and horror and is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end! (Consider yourself warned.) It’s success in New York prompted Hollywood to adapt it into a film in 1982, starring Michael Caine and Christopher Reeves. Deathtrap also enjoyed a huge revival in London’s West End in 2010/2011, which inspired us to bring it to our stage. We have assembled a great cast to tell this story featuring Mayfield favourite John Ullyatt in the lead role. We are very happy to have returning to the Mayfield for this production John Kirkpatrick (Director) and Leona Brausen (Costume Designer). We would like to welcome, Set and Light Designer Daniela Masellis and Sound Designer Andrew Smetaniuk, who are both new to our Theatre. From all of us at the Mayfield Dinner Theatre and DoubleTree by Hilton, thank you for your patronage. Enjoy you’re evening at the theatre.
Ira Levin was twenty-two when he wrote his first novel, the award-winning thriller “A Kiss Before Dying,” and twenty-five when, fresh from military service, he wrote his first play, the smash-hit adaptation of Mac Hyman’s “No Time for Sergeants.” In the years since, he has continued to work both sides of the literary street. His plays include the comedy hit CRITICS CHOICE, the musical DRAT! THE CAT!, and the thrillers VERONICA’S ROOM and DEATHTRAP. Among his novels are “Rosemary’s Baby,” generally credited (or blamed) for having sparked the current revival of occultism, “The Stepford Wives,” and the international best-seller, “The Boys from Brazil,” all of which have been made into successful films. His later plays include FOOTSTEPS and CANTORIAL, which enjoyed runs both Off-Broadway and in Florida. His best-selling novel “Sliver” has been made into a film. A native-born New Yorker, Mr. Levin is an alumnus of New York University and has three sons. In addition to his other accomplishments, he is a four-time winner (retired) of the “New York Magazine” Competition. Mr. Levin’s DEATHTRAP garnered a 1978 Tony Award nomination for Best Play and was awarded a special Edgar Award by Mystery Writers of America.
John is an Edmonton based, award-winning actor/director and former Artistic Director of the Freewill Shakespeare Festival. Recent directing credits include: 9-5 The Musical, Boeing Boeing, The 39 Steps; The Mayfield Dinner Theatre, Human Remains; Studio Theatre, The Tempest, Julius Caesar, and Macbeth; Freewill Shakespeare Festival. Recent acting credits include: A Christmas Carol, A Few Good Men, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Julius Caesar, Noises Off, and Fully Committed; The Citadel Theatre, The Pirates of Penzance; Edmonton Opera, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels; Mayfield Dinner Theatre, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and King Lear; The Freewill Shakespeare Festival, The Gift of the Coat, and The Age of Arousal; Alberta Theatre Projects, Of Mice and Men; Theatre Calgary. John has had the good fortune to act for companies across Canada including; The Vancouver Playhouse, The Globe Theatre, The Manitoba Theatre Centre, The Canadian Stage Company and The National Arts Centre. John has a BFA in Acting (1993) from the University of Alberta. Enjoy the show!
Kevin last appeared at the Mayfield in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Other credits include: In The Heat of Night and The Ends of the Earth for Vertigo Theatre, Old Nick and A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Caravan Farm Theatre, A Few Good Men, A Christmas Carol, Julius Caesar and Hamlet for The Citadel Theatre, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Betty Award) and Much Ado About Nothing for Theatre Calgary, The Wizard of Oz, Seussical the Musical and Tyland for Alberta Theatre Projects, Choke for Theatre Network, The Blue Orphan for Catalyst Theatre and The Black Rider for November Theatre, as well as nine seasons with the Free Will Shakespeare Festival.
Vanessa is happy to be making her Mayfield debut! Previous credits include: Double Indemnity and Murder on the Nile, Vertigo Theatre; Arms and the Man, Blue Bridge Rep Theatre; Enron and A Christmas Carol (’05-’08), Theatre Calgary; The Blue Room, Sage Theatre; A Doll’s House, The Globe Theatre; The Constant Wife, Citadel Theatre/MTC; Trying, Theatre Calgary/Citadel Theatre; Rabbit Hole, Alberta Theatre Projects; Vincent in Brixton and Perfect Pie, Theatre Network. Vanessa is a Sterling award recipient for Vincent in Brixton and has four Betty Mitchell award nominations.
Mathew is thrilled to be making his Mayfield Theatre debut in Deathtrap. Last season Mathew received an Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award for his performance in Concrete Theatre’s Smokescreen. Past theatre credits include: the world premiere of Brad Fraser’s Kill Me Now (Workshop West Theatre), That Men May Fly (Lunchbox Theatre), The Nutcracker Unhinged and Mrs. Lindeman Proposes (Teatro la Quindicina), The Importance of Being Earnest and Blue Heaven (Capitol Theatre), Murielle (Promise/Blarney Productions), Fatboy (Edmonton Actor’s Theatre), Nevermore (Catalyst Theatre), Hamlet and June Moon (University Media Room), The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Eurydice, Largo Desolato, Roberto Zucco and Major Barbara. (Studio Theatre). Mathew is a proud graduate of the BFA Acting program at the University of Alberta. Later this season he will appear in Hannah Moscovitch’s East of Berlin, and a new play by Stewart Lemoine with Teatro la Quindicina.
A Sterling Award winning actress and graduate of the U of A BFA program, Davina last appeared at the Mayfield in The Odd Couple and Run For Your Wife. She’s worked with many of Edmonton’s theatre companies including the Citadel Theatre, Northern Light Theatre, Workshop West Theatre, Theatre Network & Shadow Theatre. An artistic associate with Teatro La Quindicina she’s been acting with the company since 1986 when she appeared in The Vile Governess and Cocktails at Pam’s. Most recently, she’s been seen with Teatro in Cause & Effect, When Girls Collide, and multiple revivals of Pith! Davina is one third of the hit infotainment extravaganza Hey Ladies!, now in it’s 6th season at the Roxy Theatre, and is part of the company that produces the very popular Varscona Saturday morning VIP Kid’s Show. A core company member of the Canadian Comedy Award winning troupe Die-Nasty!, she has appeared with the company at the Chicago Improv Festival, the Liverpool Metafex Festival and the London UK 50 Hour Improvathon. Look for her in Teatro’s production of Barefoot in the Park coming this July at the Varscona Theatre
John was last here at the Mayfield in Chicago. Other appearances include Shear Madness, The 39 Steps and Saturday Night Club. He is a familiar face at the Citadel Theatre where he recently finished a run of Long Days Journey Into Night and will appear in Make Mine Love later this year. He is also a founding member of Edmonton’s unique circus theatre Firefly Theatre where he co-created and performed in Craniatrium in December. John makes his home in Edmonton with his wife, Annie and their four four-legged children.