Sounder Review of Will Shakespeare the Panto

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There is nothing either good or bad…

Derek Kilbourn
Sounder News Tuesday, December 9 2014

…tis the thinking makes it so.

If this be Gabriola’s winter of discontent (ferries and bridges and such) the Gabriola Players holiday panto was the perfect way to take our minds off the troubles of the day.Will Shakespeare The Panto was exactly what one has to expect from the Gabriola Players: humourous holiday fun with our friends and family on stage. Truly, in community theatre, all of us could be players.

The script, written by British playwright Robin Bailes and chosen by Players Director Miranda Holmes, has plenty of opportunities for one-liners, zingers and plenty of Shakespearan puns to surface – all well delivered by the cast.

Joe Di Cara was perfectly villianous as the despicable Edward De Vere. Young Sam Hooton continues to grow as an actor, playing Guildenstern with Ginny Lowes’ Rosencrantz – the henchmen for De Vere.

Nadine Mourao as Bob – the woman who has to pretend to be a man as only men were thought to be capable of acting in the 1600s – stole plenty of scenes with John Gooding (Burbage, professional Shakespearean actor) and Paul O’Sullivan (Cooke, the actor who specializes in female characters).

But, as is fitting for a play about the Bard, it was Alex Dewar, as Will Shakespeare, who showed exactly why the Bard’s words continue to strike powerful chords.

At the end of the play, in an Elizabethean-style poetry-battle (the pen being mightier than the sword), Dewar’s character uses popular lines out of Shakespeare’s works to defeat De Vere.  The sharp contrast between the plain modern English of the rest of the play, and when Dewar switched into line-after-line of Shakespearean English, was exceptionally well done.

Mr. Alex – as many of the children in the front row know him – brought out the Shakespeare in this panto, and made the difference between this being ‘the usual excellent holiday panto’ from Gabriola Players, and this being one of the best ones yet.

Congratulations to Gabriola Players on another successful Holiday Panto. Looking forward to many more.

Sounder review
Alex Dewar as William Shakespeare, on stage with Joe Di Cara (as Edward De Vere), Sam Hooton (Guildenstern), Paul O’Sullivan (Cooke), Nadine Mourao (Bob), Jenn Feenan (Queen Elizabeth I), John Gooding (Burbage) and Aleksandra Brzozowski (Rosie) during the Gabriola Players presentation of Will Shakespeare The Panto on November 29. Derek Kilbourn photo.

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