The Importance of Being Foolish coming to the Northern Peninsula

Brodie Thomas
Published on August 13, 2014
Berni Stapleton and Amy House bring their two-woman comedy show to Port Saunders on Aug. 18 and Rocky Harbour on Aug. 21.
Submitted photo

When Berni Stapleton and Amy House first met at the Stephenville Theatre Festival 35 years, ago, they had no idea what they were getting into.

Three decades later, the two are still working together and spreading laughter across the province.

Their latest production, The Importance of Being Foolish, is a homage to the first play they performed together all those years ago – Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest.

“This show celebrates that we met 35 years ago at the Stephenville Theatre Festival,” said Stapleton.

Set in the Retirement Home for Lesser Known Actors, the pair get in to all sorts of trouble as they discuss everything from their childhood and flash forward to life in their nineties.

She said the setting of the play is sort of a joke. 

“Actors don’t get to retire the way many people do,” said Stapleton. “We don’t have pensions. We wanted to create a place possibly when they’re not quite done performing but nobody wants to listen to them.”

The show opened in Marystown on Aug. 4, and the pair received a standing ovation when it was over.

Stapleton said the first show is always important because the audience is a part of the show in a comedy.

“We were getting a feeling for when we need to give the audience that breather - time to laugh, and time to think.”

House said even though the subject of the play are in a retirement home, the comedy will appeal to all.

“Its certainly all ages,” she said. “It’s not necessarily a children’s show – but men and women will love this show, as we saw last night in Marystown. It was a mixed audience.”

The pair will bring their show to the west coast, playing Port Saunders on Aug. 18, Rocky Harbour on Aug. 21, and Isle aux Morts on Aug. 24.

“We didn’t get to bring it to St. Anthony, unfortunately,” said Stapleton.

House has family roots on the Northern Peninsula.

Dad was from Daniel’s Harbour and mom was from Port Saunders,” said House. “I always said my heart was on the Northern Peninsula. When I turn off the highway to get on that Northern Peninsula highway, my heart starts to palpitate.”