A peninsula tradition, the White Rock Players Club’s annual Christmas pantomime, returns this week in a fully-staged, live presentation.
This year’s show, Robinson Crusoe, opens Wednesday (Dec. 1) at the White Rock Playhouse (1532 Johnston Rd.).
The tradition dates back to 1954, initiated by late director and long-time Players Club president Franklin Johnson, and most of the original scripts were written by his wife Charlotte – including the White Rock version of Robinson Crusoe, which was first presented in 1961.
Updated to reflect current humour standards – and include plenty of topical references for 2021 – the latest production is directed by Cathe Busswood (Harvey, Dracula: The Bloody Truth), and produced by Players Club president Rebekah MacEwan and past president Fred Partridge.
Starring as Robinson is Adrian Shaffer (who played the title role in 2019’s Aladdin).
Robinson has met the love of his life, Lady Pamela (Anne Matterson) but to prove himself worthy of her hand, he must follow a map to the Seven Pearls of the Seven Seas.
There’s plenty of trouble ahead in his quest, of course, including a shipwreck, cannibals, pirates led by Captain Skullduggery (Meredith Graham) and evil island Governor Don Juan de Segusting (played by White Rock councillor Scott Kristjanson) – not to mention Lady Pamela’s strict governess Miss Upson-Downs (Miriah Reitmeier).
But who can keep a good man down when he has the help of Ma Pedlar (Bryce Paul Mills, returning as panto dame), pet parrot Polly (Brooklynn McLucas), and new-found friend Friday (Myra McLaughlin)?
Also featured in the cast are Cecilia Peralta (as the Fairy), MacKenzie Claus (as Morgan), Cindy Atkinson (Cannibal Queen), plus Danu Episkenew, Sandra Rayson, Daniele Methner, Elizabeth Illes, Cianna Behm and Catelyn Efonoff.
The show runs until Dec. 26 (except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) at the White Rock Playhouse, with 7:30 p.m. evening performances Wednesday through Saturday and 2:30 p.m. matinees on Sundays.
For more details and to reserve tickets ($28), visit whiterockplayers.ca
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