Queen's Players summer show navigates the multiverse

Players entertained audiences with endless pop culture references

Queen's Players opening night
Supplied by Owen Boucher

Queen’s Players performed their summer show on July 20 at The Mansion.

The comedy performance can best be described as a mash up of Saturday Night Live and Glee, with the passion of the players themselves outshining any downfalls of the four-hour show.

With a sold-out opening night and a line out the door, the curiosity of bystanders and anticipating audience members heightened as to what the show’s title, Wumbo Number Five – Everyrain Everyforest all at Café, would entail.

“There’s an ongoing gag that if you know the title going into a show, you’re probably going to be more confused than you would be if not,” Queen’s Players President Brock Jekill, ArtSci ’23, said in an interview with The Journal.

“The show titles, especially recently, are kind of becoming the wildest things you could imagine.”

Director Kieran Turnbull, ArtSci ’22, played on the multiverse theme that has erupted in popular culture recently.

Turnbull’s opening speech delivered what needed to be delivered, from virgin jokes to ripping on the U.S. Supreme Court—it was made abundantly clear that comedy can be used as solace in dark and confusing times.

“My experience [within Players] has been one of the best things I’ve done at Queen’s,” Turnbull told The Journal.

Players has a few rules: if someone messes up, the crowd yells “seamless,” and if someone says a name of a song, they yell “sing.” This level of audience interaction keeps the viewers’ excitement high as they listen for a chance to yell out.

The nearly four-hour show gradually heated up after the much-needed intermission—not just because it’s incredibly hot in the upstairs of the Mansion, but also because the performers were slowly getting drunk with the audience and removing their clothes.

While audience members can buy the performers drinks, Jekill stressed this portion is completely optional and that many Players members don’t drink at all.

“Queen’s Player’s is a 19+ event, which allows us to operate at the Mansion,” Jekill explained, referencing the age requirement for club members.

The house band is a notable mention as well—SLPCDeeznuts was as creative and necessary as their name suggests. With a sax, two trumpets, a trombone, keyboard, and drum, the in-house music took the show to the next level.

The numerous characters that appeared on stage made it difficult to keep up, but the pay-off was worth it.

Turnbull explained that while the director picks the show’s theme and concept with support from the board, the entire cast works together to write the script.

Mother Earth appeared as a sick mamma with a Jersey accent to roast the fast fashion wearers and tote bag girlies. Pinocchio from 2022 was self-described as “radically queer and overtly homophobic” in denim short shorts and rainbow suspenders.

Meanwhile, Alexis from Schitt’s Creek told the audience about her trip to a certain Swedish festival with flower crowns and shrooms—both of which she smuggled back to the country.

The wordplay on song names wasn’t lost on audience members, who yelled out “sing” during carefully crafted monologues intended to stir up excitement for a song and dance number. While the songs themselves were fantastic, the excitement of the audience yelling out at specific titles only to have performers move on to the next name-pun was a tad disappointing.

“Miss Jackson” and “Bohemian Raphsody” were this reviewer’s favourite song performances of the night, though there were so many it was hard to choose. 

The show jumped between universes to capture various scenarios: an improv group falling apart on stage; quarrels between Euphoria’s Cassie, Mean Girls’ Regina George, Richard Nixon, and Goofy; and of course, Principal Patrick Deane.

“If people are coming in for $19, we want to be able to give them a whole night they won’t forget,” Jekill said.

The passion that students have for this show was palpable. The most touching moment came at the end when Turnbull asked Player’s alum to join the current team on stage for a show-ending song and dance sequence.

Queen’s Players is unlike anything else you can see. The show is artfully absurd, creatively manic, and sometimes enticingly confusing. Don’t miss it!

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