Volume 12 Week 5

Friday, Feb. 23


View last year's

Posted Sept. 6

Posted Aug. 22

Posted Aug. 15

survey services

Orléans Ward
Bob Monette




(Posted 2 p.m., Feb. 28)
Orleans Older Players offer a mix of angels and bad poets on a bed of dust bunnies

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Angels Lettice and Xena practice their dance moves during the Orleans Older Players theatre production of 'Canada's Worse Verses'. Fred Sherwin/Photo

If were a fan of the late Robin Williams, or familiar with his work, chances are you've seen or at least heard about Dead Poets Society.

This weekend the Orleans Older Players are offering their own unique version of the Dead Poets Society in "Canada's Worse Verse", only the OOPS' dead poet society is made up of four members all named James; all horrifically bad; and all residing in a holding pattern on Cloud 2468.

Their cranky caretaker is an angel named Lettice, played by Tina Chan, who's nemesis is her angel boss Venus, played by Céline Nadeau.

Lettice wants desperately to go to an upcoming dance with Albert, but Venus has designs on Albert as well and has a plan to keep Lettice from going to the big do which involve her having to undergo an cleanliness inspection which, judging by the number of dust bunnies littering Cloud 2468, is not likely to go well.

Lettice receives some last minute help in the form of another angel named Calliope, whose played by Pam Ryan, but she's more interested in making cheesecake than cleaning up dust bunnies.

And then there's the poets, played by André Lacasse, Biz MacDonald, Sebastien Melbourne and a stuffed mannequin. In order they are James McIntyre, whose favorite topic is cheese; James Gay and James Gillis, a Scottish-Canadian poet who resides in an upright coffin.

All three poets spend their days in a state of suspended animation unless triggered by a key word. In McIntyre's case the keyword is "cheese"; Gillis' keyword is "great" and Gay's is "Tennyson", which sounds an awful lot like "tension" and generates a lot of confusion.

At the beginning of the play, the dead poets are joined on Cloud 2468 by Phoebe James, whose played by OOPS newcomer Trish Golden. She's "delivered" to the cloud by Hermione, played by fellow first-timer Karen Bolt.

James is a dog walker who recently died in an explosion, and ended up with the poets as the result of a clerical error and having the name James. She's delivered by

The poets are trapped on he cloud until someone takes the time to listen to their poems. The problem is that there poems are so bad no one can stand listening to them much past the first couple of lines.

Just when things look desperate for Lettice she finds an unlikely ally in an angel named Zena, whose played by Sue Ashton. Zena is the inspector sent to check up on Cloud 2468. Zena feels bad for Lettice and agrees to doctor her report so that she can go to the dance with Albert.

Unfortunately, the are found out by Venus who kiboshes their plans until the head angel, Odelia, played by Judy Kilger, who shows up and everyone learns that Calliope is actually a spy sent to keep an eye on Lattice and Venus.

In the end, Lattice gets to go to the dance, Calliope gets a promotion, Venus gets a demotion, and the poets get their own cloud where they get to recite their truly bad poems for the rest of eternity.

"Canada's Worse Verse" is a quirky little production that could only come from the equally quirky brain of Cumberland playwrite and OOPS instructor Susan Flemming.

This is amateur theater in its truest form, brought to life by a group of people who enjoy studying and performing with each other for reasons that are important to themselves but unimportant to the rest of the world.

They do it because it's fun. They do it because it gets them out of the house. And they do it because at the end of the day, when the final curtain comes down, it's incredibly rewarding.

The Orleans Older Players class is offered by the Orleans Young Players Theatre School and is open to anyone who wants to get involved in producing and acting in a play with other likeminded individuals.

For more information visit www.oypts.ca/.

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


Visit www.orleansonline.ca's main page





Click on image

Click on image




Orléans Online © 2001-2014 Sherwin Publishing