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This article was published 11/4/2018 (774 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Francis and Loretta are homecare workers in Belfast looking after Davy, an elderly man with a passion for Frank Sinatra and betting on ponies. Davy’s demise shifts all of their focus onto an unclaimed winning race ticket.
Prairie Theatre Exchange wraps up its 45th anniversary mainstage season with the fast-paced comedy Fly Me to the Moon. Written by Irish playwright Marie Jones and featuring an all-local cast and artistic team led by director Sharon Bajer, the play began its run April 4 and wraps up April 22.
Bajer says characters like the ones you’ll meet in the play are not often seen on the stage.
"Middle-aged, hard-working, low-paid women with children to feed and unemployed husbands to support are largely under-represented in theatre, because their lives seem too ordinary," says Bajer.
Fly Me to the Moon stars actors Ellen Peterson as Francis and Elmwood resident Melanie Whyte as Loretta.
Peterson has been working in theatre in Winnipeg since graduating from the University of Winnipeg in 1984. She is a playwright, a dramaturge, and teaches theatre at Manitoba Theatre for Young People and Prairie Theatre Exchange.
"What I like about playing Francis is that she is kind of the evil mastermind in this story, except her ideas are kind of shaky. Her life is hard, and she doesn’t have many options."
The role has been challenging for Peterson.
"The Belfast accent is tricky to say the least. Fortunately Shannon Vickers is an excellent coach. And the comedy is physically demanding. I come home very, very tired at the end of the day. But working with Sharon and Melanie has been an absolute delight."
Whyte started acting as a child in her hometown of Port Alberni, B.C., in community and school shows. She did a music degree before deciding to head to theatre school.
"I have been a proud member of Canadian Actors’ Equity for 27 years. Though I grew up and trained out west, I have been part of the Manitoba theatre community for 26 of those years and love the arts environment here," said Whyte, who also teaches singers out of her home.
"We laughed a lot in rehearsal as we discovered what motivates these women. Our inventive and brilliant director, Sharon Bajer, came up with comic business galore to serve the story."
For ticket information and showtimes, visit the PTE Box Office on the third floor of Portage Place, call 204-942-5483, or visit PTE's website.
South Osborne community correspondent
Janine LeGal is a community correspondent for South Osborne.