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Mercury Players delivers high spirited fun in ‘Lesser Demons’

Play runs from May 2 to 12 inside Heritage Hall at Duncan United Church

Theatre devotees will be treated to a devlishly good time as Mercury Players present Lesser Demons inside the Heritage Hall at Duncan United Church. This smart and perceptive play opens on May 2 at 7:30 p.m. and will run until May 12.

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Lesser Demons is written by award-winning writer Dorothy Dittrich who hails from Vancouver and moved to the island just two years ago. Mercury Players board member Louise Phillips who takes on the role of Sylvia in Lesser Demons, approached her prior to COVID during a staged reading in Gibsons, B.C. to inquire if Mercury Players could present her clever comedy, to which Dittrich responded with a resounding and enthusiastic yes.

“When I wrote Lesser Demons I was thinking about the importance of creativity, and how easy it is to either minimize our creativity or abandon it entirely,” said Dittrich. “I wondered about the consequences of that, not only for ourselves but for those around us. It seems to me that creativity for its own sake is not always valued in our culture and suddenly a character who’d decided not to pursue her art emerged, and then two other characters who were discontent with their places in the world came into being and the play took shape.”

When Hannah agrees to a little weekend escape with her husband David to one of the Gulf Islands, she has no idea what lies in wait. From past lives to deals with the devil Lesser Demons takes a comic look at some serious subjects such as family, love, creativity, forgiveness, and spirituality, not to mention a few demons like ambition and greed along the way. It is cast with eight local actors. The ensemble includes the roles of Sylvia and Morty, Sophie and Sloth, and two temps who work in the lowest regions of hell who desperately hope to improve their station.

“This play delves into the importance of creativity — how it feeds and nurtures our heart, mind, body and soul and the consequences of ignoring the creative spirit,” said Dittrich.

Dittrich has been a playwright for more than two decades and first started her journey into theatre as a musical director and sound designer. After collaborating with friends on creating a couple of musicals, Dittrich wrote one of her own. She said her first kick at the can was a a sung-through musical called When We Were Singing which is being produced in Vancouver this June by United Players. The next play that came to Dittrich was Lesser Demons, which was intended to be a musical but evolved into a play, and she has been writing musicals and plays ever since. In fact she has done it so superbly, she received the Governor-General’s Award for Playwriting on April 19.

“The honour of getting the award is really quite beyond words,” said Dittrich. “The experience is deep in that the award acknowledges not only my efforts but also the extraordinary importance of the arts in our lives and in our communities and I am grateful, encouraged and inspired to keep on.”

Dittrich is also donning the directors cap for Lesser Demons — Mercury Players’ last production of the season.

“My favorite part of directing has been working with this cast and crew,” said Dittrich. “The cast is open and dedicated and creative, the designers are also open and full of great ideas and everyone is just to talented and friendly that it makes the whole process truly fun. I also have to say it is a remarkable experience to see something you have imagined come to life. It’s quite wonderful and I’m very grateful to be having this experience.”

There will be 7:30 performances on May 2, 3, 9, and 10 with 2:30 p.m. matinees on May 4, 5, 11, and 12. Regular tickets are $25, $22 for seniors, and for opening night only, two tickets can be purchased for $35.

They are available to purchase at either Ten Old Books in Duncan or online at

“I hope theatre goers will have fun and take away an appreciation for their own creativity and a desire to express it; to do those things they feel like doing — singing, dancing, painting, writing,” said Dittrich. “I also hope they read the fine print, they’ll know what that means when they see the show.”