Unique new musical at the Grand combines history and film noir

A photo of the cast of The Invisible on stage at the Grand. CREDIT: EMILY COOPER
Students can purchase discounted tickets to see this all-female production at the Grand Theatre from Jan. 16 to Feb. 3.

As of Jan. 16, the Grand Theatre has been presenting a new musical by Catalyst Theatre. The Invisible - Agents of Ungentlemanly Warfare is a two hour and 30-minute musical that showcases an intelligent group of women on one of their most dangerous missions. Written, composed, and directed by Jonathan Christenson, this performance is scheduled to take place on the Spriet Stage until Feb. 3.

For a better sense of what to expect, the Grand’s artistic director, Rachel Peake, pointed to this quote from The Globe & Mail, which she said really summed up this production in a nutshell:

“This show takes a dash of Captain America, a dollop of Agent Carter, and a fistful of Wonder Woman, and adds the sensibility of Bob Fosse.”

The Fanshawe College and Here For You logos are shown. A young woman is smiling while using a laptop. Text states: Exam time can feel overwhelming. Let us help you succeed. We are here for you.

Sarah Nairne, who plays the role of Madeline Barré, explained that her character is a French cabaret singer performer who grew up in France with her immigrant parents. Living in France, Barré builds a life for herself from what her parents have taught her, which has all contributed to her being a “chameleon,” according to Nairne. Recognizing this as a part of her skillset, Barré takes advantage of it wherever she can.

Nairne said she sees similarities between herself and her character as they are both very artistic. Nairne also pointed to one of her favourite scenes in this production.

“Maybe just the last 15 minutes of Act One, is my favourite moment of the show!”

Without giving away too many spoilers, Nairne shared that this is the moment where everything comes together after a very “episodic” beginning.

Amanda Trapp, who plays the role of Betty Anderson, described her character as “the explosives expert on the team.” Some of Anderson’s responsibilities included figuring out how much explosives were needed for each mission which called for some engineering, math, and a bit of chemistry skills.

Trapp shared that all the characters have their own sense of humour and heart which she felt like she could relate to. She said she also felt connected to the characters’ drive to be seen and recognized. She was inspired by the way the women in the show, “[gave] up so much of their lives to a greater cause.”

Most of the cast members in this musical have already performed in this production at least once before and have been rehearsing for around two weeks.

There is a student rush which includes special pricing for students who can provide a valid student ID. Instructions on how to book a student ticket at the Grand can be found online under the Ways to Save subheading.