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Review: Chemainus curling comedy delivers laughter, fun

Complications and hilarity ensue

The Chemainus Theatre Festival’s new curling comedy is the perfect opener for their 2024 season, bringing big laughs and great talent to the stage.

Kristin Da Silva’s script tells the story of the denizens of a small-town curling rink who want to win the big bonspiel over their bitter rivals, but who have to bring their women’s and men’s teams together after mishaps leave both short of a full roster. This means the divorced Bill (Raugi Yu) and Sandy (Emma Rendell) will have to work together to win the prize.

The curling rink is scheduled to be torn down to make room for development, so this is the hopefuls’ last chance.

Complications and hilarity ensue, of course, as Bill is joined by his brother Terry (Sean Baker), who is looking to find sporting glory after an accident scuttled his hopes of a bigtime hockey career, and Johnny (Dylan Floyde), a not-so-bright magnet for the ladies. Joining Sandy is Darlene (Naomi Costain), the local esthetician who hates curling but plays anyway, prodding Sandy about her love life at the same time.

There is not a weak link in the cast, and this witty and fast-paced script lets the audience get to know all of the characters as the story unfolds with verbal and physical comedy, along with a dash of wistful pathos that elevates the work above mere froth.

Costain, in particular is a scene stealer, turning in a hilarious performance that will leave you wishing you could befriend Darlene. The entire cast displays impeccable comedic timing, which is absolutely essential to the success of the show, and one can also see the deft hand of director Mark DuMez.

Yet it is the small moments of vulnerability played to perfection by the actors that add dimension to what in the hands of a lesser skilled author and cast could have been a fun but ultimately forgettable experience. These end up feeling like fully fleshed-out people that you could meet down at any local curling club in any small town in Canada. This is a play ultimately about the characters, not about curling.

So even if you know little about the sport, you’ll have a great time at this show.

In the tradition of last year’s triumph with Canadian play Glory about a women’s hockey team, this show is another great entry into the pantheon of outstanding Canadian theatre. These shows that bring us into the lives of the players of these quintessentially Canadian sports in quintessentially Canadian settings record for us and show us the core of our unique culture.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the excellent job done by the set designer. The stage is transformed into the curling club lounge, and it will be instantly familiar to anyone who’s curled in Cowichan.

Opening night wasn’t a full house, which is a shame, because this show deserves a wide audience. At it’s heart, it’s just a really fun time.

Hurry Hard runs until April 14. Don’t miss it!

Get tickets at, or call 1-800-565-7738.

Andrea Rondeau

About the Author: Andrea Rondeau

I returned to B.C. and found myself at the Cowichan Valley Citizen.
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