"The Day of the Picnic," a play rewritten by Russell Davis, is currently at People's Light & Theatre in Malvern.The story finds Betsy Fullbright (Carla Bever)in a close to deserted retirement home, as most of the residents and staff are gone on a picnic. Fullbright, the widow of a retired British missionary in Kenya who was part of the subjugation of the natives, is trying to finish a book about a white man lost in an African land, when she is constantly interrupted. She constantly hears "yoo hoos" from the lawn, the corridor. A new resident from Kenya, Dinko Tasovac (Graham Smith), sits and stares at her, while another resident, Denise Jones (Brenda Thomas), interrupts with her constant talking.
Strange things happen. The Kenyan, who cannot speak because of cut vocal chords, talks to her. A long-lost letter appears behind a picture. Forks appear everywhere sticking out of the floor and walls. Various characters from the Bible appear. A panther walks across the lawn, and the "Yoo Hoos" keep echoing through the home. Is the Kenyan a witch doctor getting his revenge on the mission-ary's wife, a leopard stalking his prey, or are the disconnects by Fullbright due to a fever, the revelation about her less than honorable husband or is she dying? The play does not make it clear even with Cliff notes to be read before seeing the play and another set to be read afterwards.
It is a riveting play that remains an enigma. The show will run through Feb. 15. For tickets call 610-644-3500.