‘The Listener’s’ Ennis Esmer plays an unlikely character in new play ‘Claire, From the Bus’

‘The Listener’s’ Ennis Esmer plays an unlikely character in new play ‘Claire, From the Bus’
by: Sheri Block

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In the new play “Claire, From the Bus,” Ennis Esmer plays a character that couldn’t be further from paramedic Oz Bey on “The Listener,” but that’s exactly why the Toronto actor wanted to take on the role.

“It’s not quite what Oz gets up to. This guy gets up to some pretty racy problems, which we don’t really do that stuff on the show so I just wanted to jump right in and play somebody who was in over his head and doesn’t know how to get out,” Esmer tells CTV.ca.

The play, which runs Feb. 15-28 at The Storefront Theatre in Toronto, centers around Ralph (Ennis), who is looking forward to celebrating his 31st birthday with his friends at their usual bar. But when he meets a young woman named Claire (Bryn McAuley) on the commute home, he finds himself caught up in a tangled web of sex and deceit and wondering how old this woman really is.

“It’s a comedy about sexual blackmail if you can imagine such a thing existing . . . This girl gets his phone number online and (he) realizes that’s not something you’re supposed to do. There may be some elicit texting that kind of comes back and bites him in the ass,” explains Esmer.

“It sort of speaks to that mania over privacy and perceived privacy and how the Internet affects it.”

For Esmer, who admits he hasn’t done a lot of theatre since he “got kicked out of theatre school” in university, the experience has been a welcome challenge.

“It’s a lot more to memorize and obviously I can’t cut and say, ‘Can we go again?’ if I forget a line but the conversation is so free flowing and easy to get into.”

Written and directed by Toronto’s Kjartan Hewitt, “Claire, From the Bus” also stars David Reale as Ralph’s best friend Donald and Mayko Nguyen as his girlfriend Lemmy.

“Claire, From the Bus” runs Feb. 15 – 28 at The Storefront Theatre (955 Bloor Street West) Monday to Saturday at 8 p.m. with a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. For ticket information visit www.clairefromthebus.com




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