8 a.m., March 25)
Sir Wil's musical take on classic fairy tale a real treat
By Fred Sherwin
Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary School theatre company decided
to put a musical spin on the classic fairy tale "The
Princess and the Pea" this year and the result could
easily put the cast of Glee to shame.
Sextimus gets his voice back in the Sir Wilfrid
Laurier production on 'Once Upon A Mattress'.
Upon A Mattress" has al the elements of an entertaining
high school musical -- catchy tunes, plenty of laughs,
a sprinkling of witty double entrendre and an abundance
of energy and enthusiasm.
The story is fairly simple. A curse has been placed on
the King making him mute and enabling the Queen to rule
over the kingdom without any interference. For the curse
to be lifted, Prince Dauntless needs to marry a true princess.
no shortage of female suitors, but they must first pass
a test to show they are worthy for the role. The only
problem is the Queen has fixed the tests with the help
of the Court Wizard to make them virtually impossible
to pass so she can remain in control.
plans hit a snag when Winnifred the Woebegone shows up.
Winnifred is not the wisest of princess candidates, nor
is she the most talented, but rather than subject her
to a series of questions, the Queen tells her she must
spend the night on a stack of mattresses with a pea placed
under one of them. If she falls asleep she fails the test.
If she can remains awake for the entire night she passes.
sub-plot to the play is that no one in the kingdom can
get married until the Prince finds a bride. Needless to
say they are a lot of frustrated couples in the kingdom
including Sir Harry and Lady Larkin who is with child.
They are willing to do whatever it takes to make sure
Winnifred passes the test and marries Prince Dauntless.
the end, Winnifred passes the test and marries the Prince
allowing Harry and Larkin to do the same and lifting the
curse on the King who uses his new found voice to put
the Queen in her place.
were a number of performances that stood out. Two of my
favourites were Katie Gratton's opening solo as the Minstrel
entitled "Many Moons Ago", and Liam Schwisberg
and Lauren Albright duet "In A Little While"
as Sir Harry and Lady Larkin. Kayla Bailey's solo "Shy"
as Winnifred the Woebegone was also quite good, but it
was the ensemble performances where the cast really shone.
for the rest of the lead actors Ryan Griffith was hilarious
as King Sextimus, especially when he had to mime all his
lines, and Bridget Dueck was wonderfully irritating as
truth, everyone in the cast should be proud of their performance.
It was highly entertaining and everyone who attended Friday
night's performance left with a smile on their face and
a catchy tune in their head.
would also be remiss if I didn't single out Amanda Collie
who did double duty as Lady Merrill and the play's costume
designer and seamtress, which is no small feat given the
fact there were 25 students in the cast and each cast
member had at least two costumes.
playing Lady Larken, Lauren Albright was also head of
make-up, hair and choreography.
everyone on point was drama teacher Sonya Schrum who is
probably already looking ahead to next year's production.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)
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