Entertainment

Desert island adventure on stage

(From left) Andrew Abrahams and Ben Wert perform in Robinson Crusoe, Gallery 7 Theatre’s next production about the famous explorer who survives 26 years in isolation after a shipwreck. - Dianna Lewis/Creative Memory Studio
(From left) Andrew Abrahams and Ben Wert perform in Robinson Crusoe, Gallery 7 Theatre’s next production about the famous explorer who survives 26 years in isolation after a shipwreck.
— image credit: Dianna Lewis/Creative Memory Studio

A stage adaptation of Daniel Defoe’s classic adventure Robinson Crusoe rings in the New Year for Abbotsford’s Gallery 7 Theatre.

Shipwrecked on a deserted island following a violent storm, explorer Robinson Crusoe experiences a crisis of faith and undergoes a spiritual and emotional transformation.

His vision of the world shattered and his imperialist sense of entitlement dashed, Crusoe endures 26 years of complete isolation, surviving on the ship’s supplies and his own ingenuity. When he befriends a Caribe Indian, Crusoe discovers the power of friendship and experiences the value of acceptance in spite of differences.

“We’re pulling out all the stops for this production,” explains Gallery 7’s artistic director Ken Hildebrandt. “We’ve stretched our technical abilities to create a visually stunning theatre experience, a compelling emotional and spiritual journey that features real humanity and generous sprinklings of humour.”

Directing Robinson Crusoe is Carissa Boynton. She directed last year’s inspiring production of Tuesdays with Morrie, which went on to open Pacific Theatre’s season this past September in Vancouver.

“I wonder who we are when we are forced to be real with ourselves and give up the influences of our world around us. How do these influences stick to us after we are forced to give up that world? These themes resonated with me,” she explains. “I wanted to explore how easily we fall back in to the same patterns of living we abandoned after finding them false.”

Playing the title role in a tour-de-force performance is veteran performer, Andrew Abrahams.  Ben Wert, who first appeared in last year’s production of Quiet in the Land, plays the Caribe native, Friday. Jay Danziger rounds out the cast playing two distinctive ship captains, characters that book-end Crusoe’s emotional and spiritual journey of survival.

• Robinson Crusoe runs January 20, 21, 26 – 28 and February 2 – 4  at 7:30 p.m. at the MEI Auditorium, 4081 Clearbrook Road, Abbotsford. There are additional discounted matinees on Jan. 21 and 28 at 2 p.m.

• For tickets, call 1-800-665-8828.

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