The adult-oriented combo of Monty Python and Canadian skits in one show is continuing to surprise the show’s originator and director, Jim Windsor.
Begun as a fundraiser for the ECHO Players Arts Fund (which gives scholarships to students going into arts and pays for upgrades to the Village Theatre), Spam and Maple Syrup ran for three nights in March, 2017.
Not only were all three nights sold out, those who hadn’t managed to secure a ticket got fairly irate, said Windsor.
In response, Spam and Maple Syrup (Part Deux) is back with four performances this year.
“(Tickets) are all selling pretty briskly, so it would be kind of nice if it’s a complete sell-out again for four nights this year,” said Windsor.
“It was a complete experiment because we had never done it before,” said Windsor of last year’s show. “Needless to say it was delightful when all three performances were sold out, and we did have lots and lots of people tell us they wanted us to do it again and so-on.”
And it’s not only audiences who want a piece of the show.
“When we started this year, it was a bit of a surprise the number of people who came forward and were dead-keen, just a huge percentage of our membership is now involved. There’s almost 30 actors involved and there’s about 15 or so people back stage, just back stage alone, plus publicity people and so-on. So it has been fun,” Windsor said.
Back again this year is Jaeda Dutton, now 11 years old, who’ll be doing a series called Life’s Burning Questions.
One new edition to ECHO Players, Alan Hoey, is commuting from Victoria just to take part in the show, after hearing about it from his granddaughter, Shelley Weaver, Windsor said.
They will have several skits together, some even as grandfather and granddaughter.
After all, when you’re looking to offend people, why not do it as a family?
Windsor has said he’s ratcheting up the raunchiness for this second edition of Spam and Maple Syrup.
With experience directing this same sort of show in Prince George (a university and college town), Windsor said, “We were able to be quite naughty with the program there.”
With this second show in Qualicum Beach, ECHO Players is “testing the waters” to see how far they can go.
“Some of the skits this year are a bit more mature than they were last year, so we will see what people like and what they don’t like. One of the jokes one of the other members said was that if nobody gets up and storms out in anger, then they’ll know that we’re not quite mature enough yet,” Windsor said with a laugh.
That includes skits like The Dead Parrot, some funeral cannibalism, lost genitalia and more.
A skit written by ECHO member Douglas Aalseth will be premiering for the first time. Called Decorum Above All, the skit takes place in a courtroom with a plaintiff and a defendant. “It’s quite funny,” said Windsor.
Spam and Maple Syrup (Part Deux), for mature audiences only, will run May 10 to 13, with tickets $15 each.
Tickets can be purchased online at echoplayers.ca, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, calling 250-752-3522 or appearing in person during box office hours at 110 W. Second Ave.
For more info, go to echoplayers.ca.