Volume 9 Week 3

Tuesday, Dec. 309


Updated March 18

Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

Updated June 1

This week:
Rob Jellett

Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

Posted April 17

Marc Godbout
Posted Nov. 22




Posted 12:30 p.m ., Dec. 11)

OYP Christmas production a magical gift for all ages
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Kai and Gerda play with their grandmother durng the opening scene of 'The Snow Queen and Friends' put on by the Orléans Young Players' Christmas Class on Saturday. Fred Sherwin/Photo

Leave it to the talented and imaginative folks at Orléans Young Players to take a classic fairy tale and adapt it into something wonderful for audiences of all ages to enjoy.

"The Snow Queen and Friends" is an adaptation of the classic Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale 'The Snow Queen" in which a young girl named Gerda searches for her friend Kai whose been taken north by the Snow Queen.

Gerda and Kai are life long friends before a shard of from an enchanted mirror pierces his eye and heart, turning him into a nasty, mean-spirited boy. One day while out sledding, he attaches his toboggan to the back of beautiful sleigh. Unbeknownst to Kai, the sleigh is driven by the Snow Queen who takes him to her ice palace where he slowly forgets about his former life and his friend Gerda.

When Kai doesn't return home, Gerda sets to search for him travelling first down a long river that takes her two flower women who are actually nice witches, but they are lonely and want a child of their own so they give her a potion to forget about Kai.

When she sees a Kai's favourite flower, a rose, she remembers her friend and renews her search. Before long she's accosted by a gang of robbers and befriended by a robber girl who lends her a reindeer that takes her to see a wise wizard. The wizard tells Gerda that Kai has been bewitched and only her love can break the spell.

After the reindeer carries her to the palace, Kai's spell is broken and the Snow Queen's icy heart is metled by Gerta's tears. Gerta and Kai then return home but not before dropping an orphan girl from the ice palace off at the flower women's home.

"The Snow Queen and Friends" was produced by OYP's Christmas Class which includes both youngsters and adults and is directed by OYP's artistic director Kathi Langston.

The play strays from the original fairy tale in that the crow that guides Gerda is actually a dove and the wise wizard is a gardener disguised as a lonesome pine.

The Snow Queen, played by Barbara Bucknell, is consoled by the goblin, played Henri Feist, as her cold heart begins to melt during a scene in OYP's production of 'The Snow Queen and Friends'. Fred Sherwin/Photo

The wise wizard is a clever adaptation. As he sends Gerda and the reindeer off to the Snow Queen's palace he shouts, "And to all a good night". Later on in the play the robber girl tells Gerda that she's given up her former life to live with the wise wizard who "makes toys for all the boys and girls".

The play was filled with amazing performances as the entire cast did a wonderful job. A few of my personal favouties were Allie Davidson as Gerda, Henri Feist as the goblin and Kim Tunney and Tina Chan as the flower women, especially when they sing the alphabet song.

The rest of the cast included: Barbara Bucknell as the Snoiw Queen; Emma Dolhai as Kai; Pierre Larocque as the wizard and the crow; Sheila Watts as the grandmother; Jessica Barlow as the robber girl; and Phlox Todd as the orphan girl Petal.

The final production of the holiday season takes place later this week when the East End Theatre company presents their annual traditional pantomime. This year they'll be performing the pantomime version of "Mother Goose".

Evening performances will be held on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. at the Orleans Theatre. Two special matinee performances will also be held on Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Admission is $15 for adults and $5 for children. For more information visit www.eastendtheatre.com.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)


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