What’s Next: I Love This City

In the weeks leading up to Theatre St. Thomas’ festival, The Aquinian will be sitting down with playwrights and directors of each play for a special feature.


Playwright Anthony Bryan describes his play as a mix between Lethal Weapon, Cheers and Spongebob Squarepants. It’s part one in a series of episodic plays.

The play tells the story of a former Canadian game show contestant who teams up with an unsilenced private investigator to track down an internet celebrity.

“It’s a sort of marriage of a lot of things I loved,” said Bryan.

“There’s a combination of things like Saturday morning cartoons with buddy cop films, with Twin Peaks and some noir elements.

“I always liked watching game shows with my mom. I can’t pretend I like game shows, but I figured a Canadian game show contestant, that’s really funny.”

Part one: What’s Next? Thieves of Paradise

Bryan’s work will be brought to life by director Esther Soucoup. Soucoup said they were excited about the script from the moment they got it.

“[When I first saw the script] I thought, ‘This is nuts, what is happening? What is going on here?’” said Soucoup.

“It’s not a specifically linear narrative and it is also the first chapter in an episodic. You’re basically thrown into a bizarre world that may be Fredericton, New Brunswick but in an alternate universe, where shit just goes down. It’s hilarious, it’s vulgar, it’s good.”

This isn’t the duo’s first time working together. Soucoup and Bryan worked together on a production of Hamlet set in the 1920s, with Soucoup directing and Bryan working as their assistant director.

“We just clicked when it came to artistic understanding,” said Soucoup.

“I’ve been friends with Esther for quite a long time,” Bryan said.

“And what I like about the pairing is that a lot of what is in the play embodies a lot of what Esther is about. A lot of Esther’s flair, a lot of Esther’s personality, a lot of that is in the play.”

Bryan said he hopes his audience loves his characters as much as he does.

“I don’t usually get attached to the characters I write,” said Bryan.

“Usually I write what I write and it’s done, but this is the first series I’ve technically written and I’m super attached to these characters. I really wanted to make something that shows how much I love them and I hope the audience loves them as much as I do.”

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