Embro Dinner Theatre celebrates 25 years with 'Hamish'
“Hamish” by Michael Grant, a Canadian playwright was chosen for the 25th anniversary production for the Embro Fair Dinner Theatre. The director is Ann Parker, stage manager is Dave Parker and the producer is Sara Stephenson. Waiting to hear what the lawyer has found in the box of papers are, sitting - Norm Northmore, Chris Cockle and Doug Turvey. Standing: Jennifer Moodie, Alan Normand and Kathy Fraser. Two weeks before performances begin, the cast will be moving to the Embro Community Centre from the Embro Town Hall for final rehearsals.
The Grand Theatre in London claims to have a ghost by the name of Ambrose Joseph Small. Not to be outdone, the Embro Fair Dinner Theatre has a ghost in its next production called “Hamish” by Michael Grant, a Canadian playwright from Elmira.
“Hamish” is a heart-warming comedy about family and love. It is Michael Grant’s first full length comedy and premiered at the Elmira Theatre Company in 2007. It also received the Best Pre-Festival Production Award from Western Ontario Drama League (WODL).
The story is about Kelli played by Kathy Fraser who books a trip for her workaholic Canadian lawyer husband, Gordon Grant (Doug Turvey) and herself to his ancestor's former homestead in the Scottish highlands.
Upon their arrival, they discover a deceased ancestor by the name of Hamish has not yet left home. Hamish is the great-great-great-great-grandfather of Gordon. The role of Hamish the ghost is played by Alan Normand, a true Scotsman and first time actor.
As the story develops, the trio has the task of saving the homestead from a rival clan and preserving it in the family name.
Other characters who live in Scotland, are a bumbling local by the name of Tomas, the keeper of the croft played by Chris Cockle, Shelby the banker played by Norm Northmore, Annette Gordon the wife of owner of Gordon Distillers played by Jennifer Moodie.
Moodie is also new to the dinner theatre but not the stage. She acted in many Gilbert and Sullivan musicals during her university studies and highland dance at many competitions in her youth.
Chris Cockle, Kathy Fraser, Norm Northmore and Doug Turvey are familiar faces on both stages – Embro Dinner Theatre and Thistle Theatre.
The director is Ann Parker who has worked for Embro Fair Board’s Dinner Theatre from washing dishes, helped with set construction, costumes and now directing her second play. Her first play “The Waiting Room” was directed in 2011 at the WODL “Minifest”. Her husband, Dave is the stage manager.
Being first time producer, but not new to theatre or volunteering, Sara Stephenson is learning lots about all aspects of producing a production.
Production dates are Feb. 23, March 1 and 2 for dinner and show, Sunday, Feb. 24 brunch and show (catered by the Oxford 4-H Association), and Feb. 28 show only. For tickets call Mary Ellen Garner at 519-475-4437.
The event is held at the Embro Community Centre and run by volunteers.