Lorne Elliott plays the protagonist in the most recent production of his play

Summertime in the Maritimes provinces is incomparable, and Maritime family dynamics can be described in much the same way. In Lorne Elliott’s The Fixer-Upper, Bruno MacIntyre has inherited a family cottage on Prince Edward Island in need of some repairs, and he decides to rent it out to tourists for the summer months. His family members, however, are not on board with this plan, and through the course of seven phone conversations we see a classic case of the manipulation, confusion and silliness that ensues when everyone in a family seems to have an opinion.

Lorne Elliott is starring as the show’s protagonist, the inheritor of the cottage, Bruno. His family, especially Aunt Tilley, are most certainly not on the same page as him about remodelling and renting out the cottage. The play revolves around seven phone calls, beginning with Bruno calling relatives to see if anyone may want to rent the cottage. “The focus is on the relationship between the older members of the family and the younger,” said Lorne, “I wanted to challenge myself while writing this play, and place the focus on the dialogue without relying on action, while still maintaining a connection with the audience.”

Lorne’s focus as a playwright often is ensuring audience connection. “I’ve always liked the Bob Marley quote: ‘I don’t play an instrument, I play the room. You can put something lovely on paper but ultimately the main part of the multiple arts of creating theatre is keeping the focus of the audience,” he said. The show has been produced multiple times since it was first written in 2000, and Lorne is always looking for ways to improve each performance. “I like to get in front of an audience and keep tinkering as we go” explained Lorne. “I pay attention to what parts the audience is tuning into and tuning out of, and go from there.”

This will be Lorne’s second time playing the role of Bruno in his play. “We performed this particular configuration of the play a few times in front of an audience, so I think we got a sense of how it’s going to work,” he said. Karen Cromer will be playing the role of Aunt Tilley. “We are really pleased to have Karen on board with us,” said Lorne. “Producing a great play involves working with a great team, and I am really pleased with the group we are working with for this production”

The Fixer-Upper is running from Nov 24 to Nov 26, at Grove Hall. The captivating dialogue and classic tale of trying to navigate through the complicated seas of family dynamics will entice audiences and be sure to keep them laughing. For more information, click here.

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