News / Calgary

An hour of hope, boldness and romance

The Exquisite Hour opens at the Lunchbox Theatre

The Exquisite Hour is about a potentially life changing hour in a day of an Zachery Teal.

Courtesy Curt Mckinstry and Barbara Gates Wilson

The Exquisite Hour is about a potentially life changing hour in a day of an Zachery Teal.

If you catch The Exquisite Hour at Calgary’s Lunchbox Theatre next week, it might just change your life.

It certainly had an effect on director Samantha MacDonald when she read the play a few years ago, particularly the bold character of Helen Darimont.

“What she does in the course of the play, for me, it was kind of a wake up call five or six years ago – to go, you can reach out to people, you can be brave and try these things,” recalled MacDonald. “It impacted my life in that point in time where I went, ‘I’m going to start living my life a little bit differently, just because I’ve been inspired by this piece.’ When the opportunity to direct came up at Lunchbox, I was so excited.”

It’s a very sweet play – bordering a rom-com with a ton of heart. Taking place in 1962, Zachery Teal is spending a sunny afternoon in his backyard when Helen Darimont bursts into his private space.

She’s selling encyclopedias.

“And I’m not going to say any more than that, except that it’s a lovely story of two people connecting with one-another ,” she said. “And it’s a very warm summer piece in the middle of this cold winter.”

The set is, naturally, Teal’s backyard – set against an endless chasm of similar houses. It’s a big, big world, and our main character is only a small part of it.

That said, MacDonald believes the piece is about hope, and the potential in each individual.

“It speaks to what we can do if we have a little bit of bravery. If we take a little leap of faith, that can change our lives and the lives of other people,” she said. “That sounds very airy-fairy, but I think it’s true.”

The hope is audiences will see the play, and leave with a little more hope for the world than they came in with.

The Exquisite Hour runs at Lunchbox Theatre from Feb. 13 to March 4. For more information, visit

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