Stephen Bradley plays the role of Betty Bakewell, the proprietor of the local orphanage. (Contributed)

Maple Ridge theatre group celebrates Christmas with Bah Humbug! panto

Fourth time as dame for Stephen Bradley

Actor Stephen Bradley is very familiar with big wigs and over-the-top dresses.

The Maple Ridge actor has spent nine years with the SPECC-tacular Productions Theatre Group and will be playing the part of the dame for the fourth time in the upcoming Christmas pantomime Bah Humbug! A Christmas Story.

“If a role was made for me it was the dame,” said Bradley noting that he calls on a lot of British influences to play the part.

In Bah Humbug he will be taking on the role of Betty Bakewell, the proprietor of the local orphanage who has no money to provide the orphans with a proper Christmas.

The toughest part of playing the dame, he said is the ad libbing that happens during the performance. He said the challenge is when audience members yell things at him that he has to respond to them and still remember his next line.

One of his favourite parts during the show is a number called The 12 Days of Christmas performed with handy items from around the house instead of gifts for the children.

RELATED: SPECC-tacular presents Robin Hood panto for Christmas

Bah Humbug is a pantomime adaptation of the Charles Dickens’ story A Christmas Carol.

Developed in England, a panto is a musical comedy stage production put on at Christmas time for the whole family. The stories are usually taken from popular fairy tales. Audience participation is a big part of a pantomime along with slapstick humour and the role reversal of characters, with the principal male role being played by a girl and the dame by a man.

Directed by Ed Marshall, Bah Humbug follows the story of Scrooge who is visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve, the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, who help the cold-hearted miser turn his life around.

The production promises to be jam-packed with unforgettable characters, laughter, singing, dancing and special effects.

A narrator will relay the biography of the 19th Century author, who originally wrote the novella published in 1843.

Lisa Anderson playing the part of Beggit and Ferne Brown the role of Cadjit, will act as a comedic duo, running on and off stage begging for money and singing gleefully out of tune.

One of their favourite parts of the show is a black light dance number at Scrooge’s funeral.

Five dancers from the Maple Ridge Dance Circle will be performing in that in addition to two other numbers in the show.

Pauline De Silva, playing the role of Mrs. Fezziwig, the wife of the man Scrooge worked for as an apprentice, will be throwing a colourful masquerade party where the villagers perform a waltz routine.

Audience members will also be treated to renditions of Money, Money, Money by ABBA, Dancing in the Street by Mick Jagger and David Bowie and You And Me from the movie Descendants 2.

“I would go see it because it’s fun, it’s audience participation and it’s super Christmas oriented and it’s a great way to start the season,” said Brown.

SPECC-tacular is a musical theatre company that performs one musical revue and one pantomime every year. Their goal is to reach out to aspiring actors, singers and musicians of all ages and give them a chance to develop their artistic abilities. Currently they are looking for men to join their group.

Bah Humbug! A Christmas Story takes place at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 12, 13 and 14 at the ACT Arts Centre, 11944 Haney Place, in Maple Ridge.

There is one matinee at 2 p.m. on Dec. 14.

Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and students and $15 for children under 12.

to purchase call 604-476-2787 or go to theactmapleridge.org.


 

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