Step into the shadowy, elusive world of Cipher, a new Canadian mystery coming to the Granville Island Stage next month. Equal parts modern noir and conspiracy thriller, Cipher is a theatrically innovative crime story sure to keep audiences on the edges of their seats.
Penned by Ellen Close and Braden Griffiths—who also star in the show—this play unearths the mystery of the Beacon Hill Body, a fictional, 63-year-old Vancouver Island cold case. The story follows forensic toxicologist Dr. Grace Godard (Ellen Close), who thinks her scientific expertise is leading her close to an answer—closer than anyone has come before. But when she meets Aqeel Saleemi (Praneet Akilla), a young man with a personal stake in the mystery, their efforts to crack the case have consequences neither of them imagined.
This co-production with Calgary’s Vertigo Theatre was the winner of the 2018 Alberta Playwriting Competition. It unravels its plot in an inventive way, ping-ponging between a more traditional, text-based approach and contemporary dance and movement sequences.
Of the script, Artistic Director Ashlie Corcoran said, “I felt compelled to keep reading. I wanted to discover what the cipher was; I needed to know which characters I could trust. I love that the play harkens back to thrillers of the past, while also having a modern sensibility.”
“The play is inspired by true events, but is entirely fictional,” added Close and Griffiths. “Our first inspiration was the Tamám Shud mystery, a real cold case from Australia that shares some of the same mystifying clues as our cold case in Cipher. We were particularly interested in the obsessive drive of the people who are still devoted to solving that case all these decades later.”
The Arts Club presents the world premiere of Canadian crime thriller Cipher, playing from February 6 to March 7 at the Granville Island Stage
Tickets from $29 at www.artsclub.com or the Arts Club Box Office at 604.687.1644
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