In toe-tapping traditional pantomime fashion, the Royal Canadian Theatre Company will retell the classic fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty for the New Year.
This will be the second performance for the theatre group at the ACT in Maple Ridge after a successful production of Cinderella last January.
“We are working towards building a season of plays,” said artistic director Ellie King.
“We are hoping to build on [Cinderella] and become a presence and to add to the cultural landscape in Maple Ridge,” said King.
Directed by James King, this production of Sleeping Beauty will feature a feisty, adventurous princess, Princess Rosebud, played by Melissa Paras, who has a best friend named Poppy, played by Lauren Trotzuk.
The hero, Prince Indigo, played by Andie Francis, will be wandering lost around the forest with his friend Basil, played by Jackie Bruce, until the Good Fairy Snowdrop, played by Erin Marshall, puts them both to sleep for 100 years.
There is the venerable Dame, nurse Bizzie Lizzie, played by Alan Cedargreen, and evil fairy Deadly Nightshade, played by Kerri Norris, who has two sidekicks, Hogweed, played by Mark Manning, and Igor, played by Michael Widman, who get up to all sorts of mischief.
One of King’s favourite scenes in the production is an abstract black light sequence.
“It’s quite abstract until it resolves and becomes something and the audience always goes ‘whooh’,” said King.
Another one of King’s favourite scenes is the Dance of the Little Swans, based on traditional pantomimes that King grew up learning about.
“I learnt a lot of the old routines and the set pieces and I always include one every year. These date from the 19th Century, early 20th Century. And this year we’ve got the Dance of the Little Swans,” said King, adding that it is not what you would expect the Dance of the Little Swans to be.
“It’s all the silly guys wearing tutus, so it’s really silly.”
There will be four original songs by musical director Geoff King, lyrics by Ellie King.
“Plus we’ve got a modern song that we’ve parodied that everybody will know and we’ve got some really old songs too, that our older audience members will know,” said King.
This production is also part of the theatrical company’s mentorship program.
Community members who have never done theatre before or have only been introduced to theatre are mentored by professionals working on the show.
“It’s a free program. They just have to show some commitment and a bit of talent,” said King.
So far Sleeping Beauty has been playing to sold out shows at the Surrey Arts Centre.
The theatrical company’s next production will be The Mousetrap, by Agatha Christie, in March.
Sleeping Beauty runs Jan. 2 at 7 p.m. and Jan. 3 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the ACT in Maple Ridge, 11944 Haney Place.
General admission is $23.50. Seniors and children are $18. A family pack of four tickets is $72. Groups of 10 or more are $15 per ticket and 20 or more are $10 per ticket.
• To purchase tickets, call 604-476-2787 or go to www.rctheatreco.com.