On Saturday, the Hinman Commons was packed and buzzing with excitement as the Hinman Production Company (HPC) hosted a highly anticipated rendition of “The Game’s Afoot,” written by Ken Ludwig.
The show commenced with a loud bang from the entrance doors as the actors took the stage. Taking place in the 1930s, the play focuses on a renowned Broadway actor, William Gillette, who plays the character of Sherlock Holmes. In the middle of his performance, Gillette gets shot by an unknown assailant, survives and recovers in his castle residence. He invites his friends over and they catch up on each other’s lives. In a sudden turn of events, a homicide occurs out of the blue. Every character becomes a viable suspect and they go through many different twists and turns to connect the dots and find the killer.
Despite the murder-mystery plot, comedic undertones were juxtaposed with the case to make the play positively unconventional in its own right. The stage included elements that gave the show a professional feel, such as a revolving apparatus that was utilized for several sequences during the performance.
In addition, intermission included a dinner show where the audience interacted with the actors, who were still in character. A hefty serving of pasta and bread was accompanied by amusing interactions that kept the play continuously running.
Ben Jones, a senior majoring in sociology, played Gillette. He said the cast was able to flow well together.
“What made the show go so well was that the cast was such a cohesive unit,” he said. “It was a very small cast of eight people and the fact that we had so much chemistry and became friends during the entire endeavor made this play the way it was.”
Amy Williamson, a senior majoring in philosophy, politics and law, took on the role of primary director for the first time and said the production required extensive work to create an amusing and unique performance.
“It pretty much was a wholesome effort, top to bottom,” she said. “The set was incredibly complex and a lot of work went into this. It was just working two months straight with the whole crew and the support of everyone that made this behind the scenes possible. I think that the play has humor, suspense and solemnness and so many different layers that anybody would enjoy it.”
A packed crowd gave a resounding ovation on the final curtain. Steve Jones, of Peekskill, New York, was among the satisfied audience.
“[It was a] great play and story with very talented kids,” he said. “I loved the twists-and-turns aspect that is sort of common with murder-mystery themes. My favorite was the second act where it was starting to get much funnier, especially the scene where they tried to hide the body.”