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Touching story of love and heartbreak under backdrop of WWII to coming to Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Tickets are now on sale for Emerald Pig Theatrical Society’s production of The Last Real Summer

The Emerald Pig Theatrical Society will be taking an emotional journey centred around two young lives at the start of the Second World War.

Angela Bell of Pitt Meadows will be wearing the directors shoes for the story of The Last Real Summer, written by Warren Graves, a story set in rural Alberta, that goes back to when Lizzie Tingley, played by Rachel Jansen of Maple Ridge, and Douglas Cameron, played by Tyler Boe of Pitt Meadows, were both 17-years-old.

Lizzie, who has since grown up, decides to go back to her old home town to reminisce, after losing her husband, “and feeling a little lost herself”, explained Bell.

When she gets there the story takes the viewers back in time to when she was young, and takes them on a emotional rollercoaster as her memories come to life on stage.

“This is one of my favourite plays of all time,” the director exclaimed.

“It’s so beautifully written. The playwright uses a narrator to keep us all on the hook about what happens next…and she tells the story so well, you hang on every word, waiting and wanting to hear more. Like anyone’s life, there are a gambit of emotions to be shared – lots of laughs and smiles, some tears, and a bit of a history lesson as well, as the play follows the beginning of WWII from a Canadian perspective.”

Eight characters bring the story to life. Lizzie’s older self, Elizabeth, played by Cindy Peterson of Coquitlam, will be performing the story from the present day perspective – which will actually be staged in 1981 to keep the timeline authentic. Her daughter Kathy, played by Jill Menkveld, also of Coquitlam, goes with her mother on the trip back home.

The other six characters are memories from Elizabeth’s years as a young adult. Lizzie and Doug are memories from from the years 1939 and 1942.

Lizzie’s parents are Molly, played by Peanut White of Mission, and Herbert, played by Henry Bartak of Pitt Meadows. Doug’s parents are Peggy and Duncan, played by Anita Kitkowski and Dominic Renaud, both of Pitt Meadows.

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This is Bell’s third time working on this particular show – the first time in 1987, when Bell was 16-years-old, and she played the main character, Lizzie.

“It was my first foray into community theatre, and I have adored the story ever since,” she said. In 2009, Bell would direct the play for Langley Players. Bell is hoping the play will be included in the annual Theatre BC Festival, Fraser Valley Zone.

“We had to choose a play for that – and it just seemed like perfect timing, so I presented it to the board, we had a reading, and everyone loved it,” added Bell.

The Last Real Summer runs from May 5 to 7, in Maple Ridge at the Albion Community Centre, 24165 104 Ave., and from May 12 to 14, at the South Bonson Community Centre, 10932 Barnston View Rd. in Pitt Meadows .

There will be both evening and matinee performances.

“And, it’s the perfect gift for Mother’s Day – bring Mom to a show!” suggested Bell.

For tickets, showtimes and more information on Emerald Pig, please visit our website at

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Colleen Flanagan

About the Author: Colleen Flanagan

I got my start with Black Press Media in 2003 as a photojournalist.
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