Looking for one last unique Christmas gift?
Consider buying tickets for Wash Your Troubles Away. The Headingley United Church Players are putting on their final theatre production on Feb. 15-16 and 21-23 at the Headingley Community Centre.
Originally begun a fundraising endeavour to build a new roof for Headingley United Church, the Church Players dinner theatre has become annual tradition with spectators coming from afar to enjoy it.
It is doubtful that Rev. Dr. Grant Smith ever envisioned that his suggestion to perform a gaslight melodrama dinner theatre would morph into an annual event that would last almost 30 years.
Two of this year’s company members have been part of every play put on by the company — Margaret Mills, organizer, production coordinator and John Larkin, cast member.
"So much goes into the making of the play, it’s sort of bittersweet(that it’s the last performance)," Mills says.
She has fond memories of the original plays held in the old North Hall, located on the north side of Portage Avenue. Back then, audiences really got into booing the villains and would toss buns at them to show their disdain. For the past several years, the plays have been held at the Community Centre where the stage and professional lighting just added to the audience enjoyment. A meal served between acts completes an entertaining evening.
This year’s production featres 16 cast members with many originals returning for the company’s final run.
Larkin says he has "looked forward to every play because it’s fun."
He is also proud of the fact that the plays have helped fund a great many capital maintenance projects for Headingley United Church.
On the first Saturday that tickets for February’s shows went on sale, a group of dedicated fans lined up in the wee hours to ensure that they got the best seats in the house — just as they have done every year.
One diehard who has only missed seeing one performance is Headingley resident Shan Hornby.
"The plays are always interesting because the actors are friends and neighbours who transform themselves into very different characters," she says. "There are always lots of laughs."
Sales have already been brisk for this special grand finale. To reserve your tickets and more information call Darlene at 204-255-1123.
Valerie Chatain-White is a community correspondent for Headingley. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.