Stage Door News

Tweed: Steven Gallagher talks about his latest play “Murder at Ackerton Manor” opening July 8

Thursday, July 6, 2023

Tweed & Company Theatre’s 2023 Season is officially in full swing! About to open our next production, Murder at Ackerton Manor, Tweed & Co. took some time to sit down with the show’s director and playwright Steven Gallagher so YOU can learn a little bit more about him before coming to see this HILARIOUS play.

1. Tell our readers about YOU!

I’m a writer, director, and actor, and I recently moved to Hamilton, ON. Over the past 30 years, I’ve worked across the country as an actor in almost every province. I’m thrilled that Murder at Ackerton Manor is premiering in Tweed.

2. What is Murder at Ackerton Manor about?

It’s a fun-loving spoof of Agatha Christie murder mysteries, where plot twists and mistaken identities make for a raucous night in the English Countryside. Three actors play seven characters in this fast-paced tribute to the Queen of Mystery.

One dark and stormy night, the owner of Ackerton Manor, the despicable Roger Ackerton, is murdered. Detective Pierre Pierrot is called in to solve the case, but all he has to go on is a dead body, a missing diamond, and five suspects, each with a more ridiculous motive than the last. With the clock ticking, will Detective Pierrot solve the murder or become the next victim?

3. What do you hope people will take away from this production?

Mostly, I want the audience to have a fun night out! Some of my fondest childhood memories revolve around going to the local summer theatre and watching an old-fashioned murder mystery like The Mousetrap or Dracula. Murder at Ackerton Manor is a tribute to those old- fashioned mysteries with a dash of Mel Brooks! People love a good mystery, and they love to laugh, so I hope this show gives them both of those things and creates lasting memories similar to how I felt as a kid.

4. What do you love about directing?

I love being in a room with wonderful actors trying to figure out the play together. A play is like a puzzle, and the fun of putting that puzzle together is something I always look forward to.

5. What inspired you to start directing?

I’ve always been interested in how the whole process works, so directing was the next logical step for me. I’ve been an actor for over 35 years and a writer for nearly 20, and when the opportunity comes up for me to direct my own work, I love it.

6. What advice would you give to young aspiring directors?

Take every opportunity you can to be in the room with people you admire and can learn from. If you’re in a show and you love the director, ask if you can stay in the room even when your scenes aren’t being worked on. If you have an opportunity to assist someone you admire, jump at it. Get involved in fringe festivals - you never know who you’re going to meet. You may come across a writer who is looking for a director for their work. Being in on the ground floor of something new is always exciting. See as much theatre as possible and learn about what makes you passionate.

7. Do you have a dream directorial project for the future?

Right now, I love directing new plays and musicals. When a writer approaches me to work with them, I can’t wait to figure out the piece together.

8. Why should people come see Murder at Ackerton Manor?

In my opinion, there is nothing better than being in a room with a hundred other people, laughing and experiencing live performance. You can’t replicate that in your living room. Murder at Ackerton Manor is a fun-loving escape to mystery and laughter, and the beautiful theatres in Tweed and Bancroft are the perfect places to experience this!

9. Why did you want to premiere this show in Tweed?

Tweed is the perfect place to premiere Murder at Ackerton Manor because they have such a wonderfully supportive community and audience base who are excited to see new work! I am thrilled that Tweed has offered me this incredible opportunity and a place where I can continue to work on the play in rehearsals and make it better!

Get your tickets for this World Premiere Agatha Christie-style play from celebrated Canadian writer & director, Steven Gallagher! MURDER AT ACKERTON MANOR runs July 6th-8th at the Marble Arts Centre in Tweed and July 12th-16th at the Village Playhouse in Bancroft. Tickets are selling FAST so get yours today at the Tweed and Company Theatre website. Tickets range from $22.50 to $37.50 + HST!

*If you require wheelchair or fully accessible seating please call the box office at 613-478- 6060.