Cast plays silly characters superbly
I actually had to wipe away tears at the premiere of Echo Players’ Christmas production on Thursday — but luckily they were tears of laughter.
The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townwomen’s Guild Dramatic Society’s production of A Christmas Carol is a wonderful and festive play surrounding a group of second-rate actors trying to pull off the Christmas classic. The five-person-cast does an incredible job of playing the plethora of silly characters and all seem to have great chemistry with one another. The show runs at the Village Theatre in Qualicum Beach until Dec. 29.
The play starts out with the very funny Susan Evans playing the flighty Mrs. Reece, who relays that the show will be delayed as the characters got stuck in the mud on their way to the theatre. She tries to enlist of the help of some of the audience and these roles become entwined in the hilarity of the evening. Evans performs her classic blunders well, coming out dressed as the wrong character in one scene and doing her darnedest as director to make the play run smoothly (unsuccessfully).
Wendy Punter does a bang-up job of playing an actress herself banged-up, by a recent accident involving a shopping cart. She manages her timing well and keeps the audience laughing as she shuffles around always at least one step behind.
Susan Warner gives an enthusiastic and strong performance as the main actress Thelma, who plays Scrooge. Her bossy and ostentatious attitude works well with the other aspiring (and, in her opinion, amateur) characters which makes for some funny, confrontational scenes.
The young and talented Belle Warner adds some sweetness to the play with her naive and earnest character Felicity, and David Attley garners many fits of laughter with his character Gordon, who plays Mrs. Cratchit, among other characters.
Despite the few scenes where the timing was a bit off and therefore the humour a bit forced, the play was very well done and very funny. As it was opening night, I’m sure the show will just get funnier and funnier as the actors perfect their roles.
The show wraps up with some sing-alongs and despite my wet cheeks (from the tears) at the end of the show, I left feeling warm and fuzzy.
Don’t miss The Townwomen’s production of A Christmas Carol at the Village Theatre. Tickets are $18, $15 for seniors and $10 for students. Stop by the box office in Qualicum Beach during office hours at 110 West 2nd Ave., or call 250-752-3522 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit www.echoplayers.ca for more information.