The RCA Theatre Company’s new Season opens this month, with a play from local playwright Charles Picco, Men of Misfortune. The play stars Andy Jones and Greg Malone, and is directed by Nicole Rousseau. The dark comedic thriller premieres at the LSPU Hall on Thursday, November 1st.
In Men of Misfortune, Jones and Malone play two elderly brothers who unexpectedly find themselves back in their childhood home in St. John’s, where they are forced to reckon with a tragic event from their past. It’s a play with unexpected twists and turns that explore the nature of memory and sibling relationships.
“The play switches back and forth so sometimes you feel sympathetic for one of the characters and sometimes for the other,” Andy Jones said about Men of Misfortune.
“I’m not sure in the end whether anybody wins the audience’s affection. I don’t think they do.”
Jones explained the characters meet after a long time apart, and are immediately plunged into the roles they have always assumed with each other. As the play unfolds, intimate details about the brothers’ relationship with each other and their parents are subtly revealed along with a dark secret. For Jones, the power of Picco’s writing comes from his ear for dialogue, and his ability to draw complex, convincing characters in a small amount of time.
“I find he really captures characters well, he’s captured two real guys here, and I kind of recognize them a bit; I feel like I’ve met them before,” Jones said.
It’s fitting that Jones and Malone play brothers in Men of Misfortune because they have been friends since they were children. Both Jones and Malone are the second oldest boys in their families, and as a result they have talked a lot about siblinghood over the years. While Jones and Malone’s friendship isn’t fraught (unlike their character’s relationship), the fact that they share an almost life-long bond will give their performance an interesting layer of verisimilitude.
In addition to being close friends, Jones joked that he and Malone have been working on material together since they met in grade one. He says they became friends almost immediately, and started creating characters and acting out scenes together soon after that.
Jones and Malone continued performing sketches together until they eventually found themselves in the CODCO theatre review and later on the CODCO television show. In recent years, they’ve worked on a number of theatre projects together, including a production of Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor.
“We met at St. Bons’ and we took to each other right away,” Jones said. “We share a sense of humour, in a way I don’t with anyone else in the world.
“Ever since I first started working with Greg, he’s always been very generous and wanted me to bring my best work out. Although we’re very jealous of each other too, of course.”
It seems inevitable that the bond Jones and Malone share, paired with their exceptional talent and years of experience with bringing characters to life, will give Men of Misfortune a unique depth.