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Mystery man: The intriguing double life of Calgarian who wrote new play ‘Heist’

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The intriguing double life of Calgarian who wrote the new play ‘Heist’
WATCH: This new year brings the world premiere of a lively new show in Calgary. And as Gil Tucker shows us, the man behind it leads an interesting double life – Jan 12, 2024

This New Year brings the world premiere of a lively new show in Calgary.

Cast and crew at Vertigo Theatre are in the early stages of rehearsing the play Heist.

Actor Charlie Gould is playing one of the main characters in the mystery.

“We’re stealing some precious gems and we’re all specialists,” Gould said. “We all have things that we’re good at and we come together to make this team.”

One of the key members of the creative team is a Calgarian who’s another kind of specialist.

“I’ve been leading kind of a dual life. So by day I’ve been a doctor – I’m an ophthalmologist,” Dr. Arun Lakra said. “I spend half my life doing medicine and the other half writing. It’s been interesting, toggling back and forth between these two worlds.”

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Lakra says he had specific themes and styles of storytelling in mind while writing Heist.

“Our goal was to try and take what we could from the genre of movie heists — Oceans Eleven — that sort of thing,” Lakra said.

Other members of the Vertigo Theatre team are impressed by the results.

“It’s such a beautifully conceived and executed script,” director Haysam Kadri said. “It’s fantastic.”

Lakra says his background in medicine helped with the creative process.

“Being a doctor has helped with the writing side of things, plot construction and logic and methodology,” Lakra said. “Focusing entirely on the medical side of things  put me out of balance a little bit and so finding a creative outlet helped to balance things out for me.”

Heist runs from Jan. 27 to Feb. 25 at Vertigo Theatre in downtown Calgary;

‘There’s drones, there’s lasers, there’s acrobatics, there’s betrayal,” actor Griffin Cook said. “It’s everything you want when you read the name Heist.”

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