Sleeping Beauty [NWR]

By Staff Reporter

December 5, 2014
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New West residents in Christmas pantomime

The Royal Canadian Theatre Company presents its new holiday pantomime

New Westminster residents are part of the fun when the Royal Canadian Theatre Company presents its new holiday pantomime. Jackie Bruce, Stephanie Bruce, Kerri Norris and the Elcheshen clan – Stephen, Aaron and Cayleigh – are all in the cast for Ellie King’s Sleeping Beauty, a brand-new retelling of the familiar fairy tale.

The new production features many of the company’s panto favourites, including the venerable “Dame” Alan Cedargreen as Nurse Bizzie Lizzie. This year marks the first foray into directing for the second generation of Kings, as James King takes over from his mother, Ellie, who’s often billed as the “Queen of Panto.”

“James has been steeped in panto tradition from a very early age and continues to bring the most traditional panto in B.C. to the stage,” a press release says.

Audiences can join in the fun as Fairy Snowdrop (Erin Marshall) and Demon Hemlock (Stephen Elcheshen) square off over the fate of Princess Rosebud (Melissa Paras). Even the hero, Prince Indigo (Andie Francis) needs some help against the evil Fairy Nightingale (Norris). These characters and many more combine with top costumes, sets and special effects, plus music that includes four original songs.

And, in true pantomime fashion, there’s no need for the kids to sit quietly – in fact, the audience is encouraged to boo and cheer and clap their hands.

The pantomime is onstage at the Surrey Arts Centre, with a two-for-one preview on Dec. 19. There will be 3 p.m. matinees on Dec. 20, 21, 26, 27 and 28, plus 7 p.m. shows on Dec. 20 and 27. The production then moves to the ACT in Maple Ridge for three shows: a 3 p.m. matinee on Jan. 3, 7 p.m. shows on Jan. 2 and 3.

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RCTC