It’s a tradition that goes back generations across the pond in England, but just 11 years for the Shawnigan Players: the annual Christmas pantomime. This year it’s Tom Thumb written by Paul Reakes and directed by Laura Sirmul.
The Giant and his Evil Henchman, Slither Slugslime are coming to town to take all of your food! Only young Tom Thumb (playaed by Simon Garnett) has the courage to stand up to these miserable meanies. You will find new favourite characters in Mum Thumb (Bill Levity), The Crone (Lara Brunshot), and the Good Witch Spellena (Breann Gallacher).
Will the citizens lose everything to the big beastly bullies? Will tiny Tom Thumb triumph over tyranny? Will love really find a way to win?
“There’s romance, there’s a happy ending, there’s all those fairy tale elements,” Sirmul said. “There’s always a dame that’s usually played by a man, who is this mother figure [this year it’s Bill Levity as Mom Thumb]. It’s a topsy turvy world where everything turns out great in the end. There’s just general wackiness.”
It’s the perfect family outing, and ideal for anyone looking to introduce their young children to the world of theatre without having to worry about them staying quiet during the show.
“It’s interactive, it’s playful, people cheer for the hero and boo for the evil-doer, and there’s lots of popular songs,” Sirmul explained. “It’s a sing-along, and then there’s often candy thrown into the audience. It’s family friendly.”
Based on fairy tales or familiar stories, the audience can follow along and still be surprised by the slapstick and physical comedy that the writers have expertly weaved in.
“It’s perfect for little kids,” Sirmul. “You can shout and laugh and be noisy and you can talk to the actors so it’s really fun that way.”
This year the show is backed by pianist Mary Gallagher.
“It’s going to be really fun,” Sirmul said.
The show is being presented at Duncan’s Mercury Theatre and matinee shows run Dec. 27, 28 and Dec. 31 at 2:30 p.m. Evening performances are slated for Dec. 29 and Dec. 30 at 7:30 p.m. and on Jan. 2 at 6:30 p.m. The doors will open 30 minutes before the show is set to begin.
All seats are $10 and tickets can be bought at Ten Old Books, Mason’s Store and online at panto2021.eventbrite.ca
Masks and proof of vaccination are required for entry.
For more, visit www.shawniganplayers.com