The Royal Canadian Theatre Company’s Christmas panto Sinbad, The Pirates and The Dinosaur is coming to the ACT. (Contributed)

Sinbad, pirates and dinosaurs come to Maple Ridge this Christmas

Ellie King’s traditional British panto takes place at the ACT at the end of December

What does Sinbad, a pirate and dinosaurs have in common?

They are all together in The Royal Canadian Theatre Company’s Sinbad, The Pirates and The Dinosaur coming to the ACT this Christmas.

The traditional British panto begins in a pirate’s retreat called the Duck and Pickle where Sinbad finds he is in a pickle because he has a treasure map but no money to rent a ship, let alone pay a crew. The evil pirate Queen Anne Bonney wants the treasure map, and has gold to spare, so she pays for a boat and crew and accompanies Sinbad on his treasure quest. After avoiding many calamities at sea including a mutiny, icebergs and a superfluity of bubbles, the boat becomes shipwrecked on a tropical island where there is treasure, but also dinosaurs.

“We have to get to the treasure, find it and secure it and battle the dinosaurs and battle Queen Anne and the bad guys and then we all end up happily ever after,” laughed Ellie King, writer and director of the panto.

Pantomimes are stage productions that include music and comedy that were developed in England and are generally performed during the holiday season. The audience is strongly encouraged to sing along with the songs, shout out phrases to the performers and cheer on the good guys while booing the bad guys.

King wants to emphasize that this is a family show.

“It’s not a kids show, it’s a family show and there’s a difference. There’s various bits of political humour and social commentary and stuff like that. And there’s the slapstick humour which is for everybody. And there’s the dinosaurs which are for the kids,” she said.

Every year King writes an original script for her pantos and also the lyrics to many of the songs. Her husband writes most of the music. This year they have written all but two songs. It took King a good part of the summer to write the script.

King fell in love with pantomimes because she loves history and, she says, pantos are a very historical form of theatre that have certain forms that you don’t find anywhere else.

”Much like Shakespeare, the fourth wall goes away and the people speak to the audience directly. And it retains the good side and the evil side as you would find in the medieval morality plays,” explained King.

King makes sure she writes in all elements of the panto format.

”There are lots of other stuff that we keep alive in our panto that you won’t find anywhere else in the theatre world but that use to be common back in the day,” said King.

“As long as you have these elements it’s a panto. But if you are missing even one then it is not a panto,” she said.

Like the element of the journey of the hero or the heroine from rags to riches. To get to the riches, they have to overcome obstacles and they have to grow as people.

”The journey can be spiritual if you like or psychological or it can be physical, travelling from one place to another. But they have to overcome obstacles,” said King.

King has included a couple of sea shanties, or work songs sung by the crew on the boat, in the production.

”We have one that starts off on the stage but the sailors all appear in the house, so the whole auditorium, the entire theatre is echoing with this song, it’s quite moving I quite like it,” she said.

Alan Cedargreen who plays the Dame in King’s panto productions will be retiring this year and he will be doing a special rhyming couplet about soap operas at the end of the show that King wrote for him in 1993.

Every year King also includes a standalone gag, another panto tradition. This year they will be doing a smelly sock gag that dates back to the Victorian era.

What King loves most about pantos, though, is the interaction with the audience.

“The kids in the audience and the adults, shouting back, because it’s highly audience interactive,” said King.

“To see otherwise conservative adults standing on their feet and yelling at the stage. Yeah, that’s a big thing.”

Sinbad, the Pirates and the Dinosaur runs from Dec 29 to Dec. 31 at the ACT Arts Centre, 11944 Haney Place in Maple Ridge.

On Dec. 29 there is a $8 dress preview at 7:30 p.m..

Regular shows run Dec. 30 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 30 and 31 at 3.30 p.m..

Adults are $28 and seniors and youth under 14-years are $20.

There will also be a student rush meaning $10 at the door 30 minutes prior to curtain with current ID.

For more information call 604-476-2787 or go to theactmapleridge.org.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The Royal Canadian Theatre Company’s Christmas panto Sinbad, The Pirates and The Dinosaur is coming to the ACT. (Contributed)

The Royal Canadian Theatre Company’s Christmas panto Sinbad, The Pirates and The Dinosaur is coming to the ACT. (Contributed)

Ellie King’s Sinbad, the Pirates and the Dinosaur is coming to the ACT in Maple Ridge at the end of December. (Contributed)

Just Posted

SHARE: Views offered from local dikes

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

Sunny skies expected across Lower Mainland this week

After weeks of rain and smoke, Environment Canada forecasts clear skies and steady warm temperatures

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Ridge Meadows Hospital executive director an “out-of-the-box” thinker

Rich Dillon brings years of valuable experience with Vancouver Coastal Health

Maple Ridge volunteers honoured for decades of service

Community Services held special ceremonies for volunteers John Work and Rodger White

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

VIDEO: COVID won’t dampen Lower Mainland woman’s Halloween spirit

Langley’s Tanya Reid posted video offering suggestions of how trick-or-treating might look for her

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

Most Read