Vic­to­rian sum­mer home

Chris Gibbs is back at Victoria Play­house for his third sea­son, this time to per­form his one­man show “Not Quite Sher­lock, The Case of the De­cep­tive De­tec­tive.”

Journal Pioneer - - FRONT PAGE - BY SALLY COLE

Chris Gibbs is a well-es­tab­lished co­me­dian who feels at home on some of the coun­try’s big­gest stages and screens. He has per­formed at “Just For Laughs” in Mon­treal, ap­peared in two CBC Win­nipeg Com­edy Fes­ti­val galas and starred in the in­die Canadian fea­ture film, “Run Ro­bot Run.” But, for the past three sum­mers, he’s been feel­ing at home in Victoria.

The first year he per­formed with Canadian ac­tor Cathy Jones. The se­cond, he brought his prize-win­ning one-man show, “Like Fa­ther, Like Son? Sorry” to Victoria Play­house.

“It’s lovely here. And one of the nicest things about com­ing back is that things are fa­mil­iar,” says Gibbs, with a smile. For ex­am­ple he’s got­ten

to know Ron Que­ne­sel, the theatre’s set car­pen­ter/crew mem­ber.

“There are lit­tle things like I’ve spent ev­ery evening (back­stage) with him, when I’m at my most ner­vous and he’s be­ing his usual, calm self. It’s not that I’m fly­ing out to see him but it’s lovely to see him again.”

Gibbs has also got­ten ac­quainted with Eu­gene Sauve, owner of the Land­mark Café, and the servers at the Boathouse Take-Out, where he goes for fish and chips once a week. Now that he’s a reg­u­lar sum­mer vis­i­tor, “peo­ple are pay­ing at­ten­tion,” says Gibbs, who is per­form­ing his one-man show “Not Quite Sher­lock, The Case of the De­cep­tive De­tec­tive” on stage at Victoria Play­house un­til Sept. 17.

The set­ting is Lon­don 1896. Barn­aby Gibbs is an in­cur­able op­ti­mist, a Sher­lock Holmes fan and a man who knows he’s not par­tic­u­larly good at any­thing.

One night while check­ing on a friend’s empty house, he en­coun­ters a stranger dressed en­tirely in black, hold­ing a bag full of stolen be­long­ings and at­tempt­ing to write a poem about sap­phires.

There is only one con­clu­sion a rea­son­able man could come to: this is the no­to­ri­ous cat bur­glar/con-man known as the Rhyming Ban­dit. For­tu­nately, Gibbs is not a rea­son­able man, and when the stranger ex­plains he is ac­tu­ally the fa­mous de­tec­tive, An­toine Fe­val, a new crime-fight­ing duo is born. “Not Quite Sher­lock, The Case of the De­cep­tive De­tec­tive” is a one-man com­edy play about Vic­to­rian Lon­don’s most over­looked de­tec­tive. It’s also a com­edy about an ex-street-per­former at­tempt­ing to do a one-man com­edy play about Vic­to­rian Lon­don’s most over­looked de­tec­tive.

At first, one-man shows made him feel ner­vous. So Gibbs asked his friend, di­rec­tor Mark Chavez, for ad­vice. “He said, ‘Don’t worry about it. If you look one way for one guy and you change your voice and look the other way for the other guy, au­di­ences are clever enough they’ll go with you. “He also told me to keep my jokes in (the show for comic re­lief).”

SALLY COLE/THE GUARDIAN

Chris Gibbs was happy to re­turn to Victoria Play­house for his third sea­son. This sum­mer he’s per­form­ing his one-man show, “Not Quite Sher­lock” with the last per­for­mance this Sun­day, Sept. 17.

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