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The Magic Tinderbox, a delightfully funny pantomime due to open on Boxing Day at the Sid Williams Theatre, will continue a heartwarming tradition that Courtenay Little Theatre started in 2002.
It is 10 years now since the inaugural production for this genre. Each year since, the award-winning community theatre group has produced a pantomime or holiday theatre event for theatregoers to enjoy. The success of the tradition is well known with unbridled anticipation and frequent full house attendances (many of the audience from out of town) as a constant source of motivation for all involved.
With a focus on family entertainment these shows are a gift to theatregoers of all ages as thanks for the ongoing support given to CLT’s productions.
Based on the story by Hans Christian Andersen, The Magic Tinderbox script is written by Peter Bond, a U.K. playwright who has more than 20 pantomimes, musical plays and plays for children/teenagers to his credit.
An excerpt from the CLT website gives the plot most succinctly, “The hero wants to marry the princess! The king wants to marry his daughter to whoever has most money! The villain wants the magic tinderbox but is unable to reach it without the help of our hero! The tinderbox brings a wish-granting dog! What could be better!”
Costuming such a production, with multiple costume changes, can be daunting to say the least. However, CLT costume mistress Gail Limber has a group of sewing buffs gathered around her who love the challenge of creating costumes that will fit the period and vision of the director.
It is not uncommon to hear great bursts of laughter on Tuesdays and Thursdays as Limber and her crew at the CLT space sort fabric and sew like crazy to get it all done before the Boxing Day opening matinee performance.
Wearing costume pieces and using props is an important part of that fine tuning. The sight of Derek MacDonell manhandling his “bosom” in a dress he will wear as one of the Dames is hilarious!
There are two Dames in this show, which will certainly add to the visual hilarity, not to mention a very big dog, costumed by Val Heath that is certain to prove a major focus for younger audience eyes especially.
The Magic Tinderbox is filled with silliness and crazy characters. There are five evening performances starting at 7:30 p.m. and two matinees, starting at 2:00 p.m.
“This is family entertainment at its best, where the audience is part of the show. So come for chance to sing out loud, to cheer and boo, and to call out that well remembered warning, "Look behind you!”
Don’t miss the fun this holiday season. Get your tickets now at the SWT box office (250-338-2430) or online at www.sidwilliamstheatre.com.
— Courtenay Little Theatre