ArtsTheatre

Actor Charlie Gould finds it’s twice as nice starring in Stage West’s production of Drinking Habits 2

Second time is a delight — will the third time be the charm? 

Actor Charlie Gould wouldn’t put it past playwright Tom Smith to come up with Drinking Habits 3 but for now, she is content with being a part of the only sequel of 2017’s Stage West production of the comedic farce.

In Drinking Habits 1, the Sisters of Perpetual Sewing were making secret wine to save their convent and reuniting long-lost families by accident. In the sequel, Drinking Habits 2: Caught In the Act, the mix-ups of the first production multiply and chaos ensues — and of course, there’re more wine.

Gould, who brought back to life the role of runaway bride Sally, revelled in the growth of the character, tapping into her own growth as an actress. 

“It’s been two years since the first one, and I feel like as an actor and an artist, I have evolved and grown. And in my personal life, I’ve had ups and downs with my relationships, so I feel like that kind of mirrors, in a lot of ways, Sally’s growth as a person even though it’s only been eight months in the story,” Gould explains, adding she likes to draw from her personal experiences when acting. 

It’s a rarity for actors to be able to show such growth in their characters and one Gould jumped at the chance to bring to stage when she heard that the production would have a sequel. Not only that, but she truly enjoyed the first experience. 

“I think we all kind of fell in love with each other. And we’re playing with each other on stage. And it was such a joy to come back and just play a character that you already know so well. You really get to really figure out the inner workings of these characters.”

That made it easier the second time around, allowing the actors to focus on the storyline. As much fun as it looks like the characters are having on stage, so are the actors. 

“All of the characters are really quirky,” Gould observes. “I just think we know them so well, it’s like a glove that fits just right.”

Quirky and likeable enough to bring them back onstage for a second run. 

It was during the first run that the cast and crew learned playwright Smith published a sequel, and at first they thought the production manager was joking when she told them the news. 

“We read the synopsis and realized this is even more ridiculous than the first one,” she says. “Two years later and here we are doing the sequel.”

When asked if she would sign on to a third sequel, Gould just laughs. 

“Oh, gosh. I don’t know … I mean, if it continues to go up, and the third one just gets funnier then — yes, I would definitely be up for it.” 

It just remains to be seen if Smith will pull another sequel out of his hat. 

Drinking Habits 2: Caught in the Act runs until April 14 at Stage West. For showtimes and tickets please go to stagewestcalgary.com.

Krista Sylvester is a freelance writer (and creator of that’s all she wrote) with a journalism background. She has worked for Metro, CityTV and the now defunct FFWD, and specializes in arts and culture, sports, film and entertainment, social issues and more. When she’s not writing, she can often be found at the poker table or ice rink playing hockey.

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