Tich Wilson as Pippi Longstocking, the title character in Kaleidoscope Theatre for Young People’s latest production, running Dec. 28-30 at the McPherson Playhouse. Courtesy Kaleidoscope Theatre

Tich Wilson as Pippi Longstocking, the title character in Kaleidoscope Theatre for Young People’s latest production, running Dec. 28-30 at the McPherson Playhouse. Courtesy Kaleidoscope Theatre

Kaleidoscope’s Pippi Longstocking promises ‘rollicking fun’

Family oriented holiday entertainment on tap Dec. 28-30 at the McPherson

What do you get when you mix energetic young actors with a collection of local stage veterans and give them a beloved story to tell?

A whole lot of fun, says Roderick Glanville, artistic director with Kaleidoscope Theatre for Young People, which is staging Pippi Longstocking from Dec. 28-30 at the McPherson Playhouse.

“This musical is really quite remarkable. It’s a fun frolicking adventure and no two scenes are the same,” he says.

The headstrong and fun-loving Pippi character was created by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren in the 1940s and has been played on stage thousands of times around the world in the decades since. The version being staged by Kaleidoscope, adapted for the stage by Sebastian and Staffan Götestam, was unfamiliar to Glanville when the company took it on. It was suggested as a potential project by a Kaleidoscope intern, who referred to the story by its German name, Pippi Langstrumpf.

Glanville recognized quickly, however, that this portrayal of Pippi, which captures her character by blending elements from various books, matched up well with the goals of the Victoria theatre group.

“What I love about Pippi Longstocking is it ties into all our themes of youth empowerment … it encourages Kaleidoscope’s mandate to encourage critical thinking in youth,” he says.

While the story was developed in Europe, the themes are universal, he adds. “What’s important is that Pippi’s mission statement is to play, and I think that’s what we need to encourage children to do, but also adults as well.”

Not only does this story tick all the boxes for the company, Glanville says – “it’s fun, funny and musical” – the cast and crew have been a delight to work with.

In the cast of 47 are seasoned local performers Danny Costain, Steve Ivings, Lena Palermo from Peninsula Players, Michael Forbes from the morning radio team Forbes and Marshall, and Tich Wilson in the title role.

They’re joined by a “rock solid” supporting cast of all ages that includes a pair of talented young up and comers in the roles of Pippi’s neighbours and best friends, Tommy and Annika.

The youngest actor in the company is age six and she joins her mother in the cast, one of three mother-daughter combos who are “on stage together creating,” Glanville notes. “It’s a great way for them to spend time together – they get a chance to play over the holidays.”

People familiar with the books or one of the handful of Pippi movies or shorts made over the years in English can be assured of seeing the character get up to her usual hijinks. Those scenes of fun and friendship, interspersed with beautiful and often touching songs accompanied by a live band, make this family production one not to miss over the holiday season.

The 90-minute shows (including intermission) happen Friday, Dec. 28 at 7 p.m. and on the weekend at 2 p.m. both Dec. 29 and 30. Tickets are $45 or $25 for students and children 16-under, available online at rmts.bc.ca, by phone at 250-386-6121 or in person at the Royal or McPherson box offices.

editor@mondaymag.com

Live theatre

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Everett Bumstead (centre) and his crew share a picture from a tree planting location in Sayward on Vancouver Island from when they were filming for ‘One Million Trees’ last year. Photo courtesy Everett Bumstead.
The tree planting life on Vancouver Island features in new documentary

Everett Bumstead brings forth the technicalities, psychology and politics of the tree planting industry in his movie

Scaredy Cats television series has turned Empress Avenue in Fernwood into a Halloween themed neighbourhood. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Trick or treat! Halloween comes to Fernwood in January

New television series Scaredy Cats filming in Victoria

Cindy Foggit plays the lead role of Eliza in Passion and Performance’s film production Eliza: An Adaption of a Christmas Carol. (Courtesy of Rachel Paish)
Victoria adult dance studio releases modern adaption of A Christmas Carol

Instead of usual stage performance, dance studio turns to film

There are many options for enjoying a meal out locally during Dine Around and Stay in Town, on now through Feb. 7. (10 Acres Commons)
Dine Around Stay in Town Victoria carries added importance during pandemic

Special menu items for eat in or takeout/delivery, staycation deals available through Feb. 7

Peter Crema and Harmony Gray (from left), past participants of the Nanaimo Art Gallery’s Code Switching teen art group, at work in ArtLab in 2019. The NAG will be expanding the space thanks to a $75,000 arts infrastructure program grant. (Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo Art Gallery, Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre receive new arts infrastructure funding

Province announces recipients of funding through B.C. Arts Council program

Ty Wesley, Nicole Darlington and Cameron Macaulay (from left) performed in the Beholder Entertainment production <em>Gender Sucks!</em> in the 2020 Nanaimo Fringe Festival. (Video still courtesy Sam Wharram)
Nanaimo Fringe Festival artist lottery open to local and B.C. playwrights

Organizers hope to stage plays in-person at indoor and outdoor venues this summer

Canadian singer-songwriter-actor Joëlle Rabu will join her son, Nico Rhoades, for a livestream performance courtesy the Tidemark Theatre Jan. 29. Photo submitted
Mother/son powerhouses Joelle Rabu and Nico Rhodes join forces for Island livestream

Campbell River’s Tidemark Theatre hosts online music revue

Dr. John Hooper is the new conductor of Island Voices. Photo supplied
Island Voices welcomes new conductor

Dr. John Hooper to lead mid-Island based choir

Jorie Benjamin does a modern dance performance to ‘La Vie en rose’ by Édith Piaf, Louis Gugliemi and Marguerite Monnot, choreographed by Elise Sampson during the Cowichan Music Festival’s Highlights Concert at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre on March 1, 2020. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan Music Festival cancelled for 2021

The festival had already been limited to solo performances only for 2021

<em>Chinook Salmon: Breaking Through</em> by B.C.’s Mark Hobson was selected among 13 entries as the winner of the Pacific Salmon Foundation’s Salmon Stamp Competition.
Stained-glass lighting casts a win to B.C. salmon artist

Painting of chinook is Mark Hobson’s third win in annual contest

Apollonian means “serene, calm, or well-balanced; poised & disciplined”. The natural photo art for the album includes Vancouver Island mountains, rivers and beaches. Scenes from the Cowichan River, Witchcraft Lake, Pipers Lagoon, Wall Beach and other popular Island recreation destinations accentuate the album. (RICHIErichieRichie Music Publishing photo)
Serenity Now! Richie Valley debuts third LP dubbed Apollonian

Apollonian means “serene, calm, or well-balanced; poised & disciplined”

Most Read