Magic of the season captured

Escape from the stress and excess of the holiday season with a magical ride at Caravan Farm Theatre.

Magical gift: A childless family’s wishes are answered in The Gift Horse

Escape from the stress and excess of the holiday season with a magical ride at Caravan Farm Theatre.

Visitors will be transported through space and time in The Gift Horse, this year’s edition of the theatre’s family friendly winter show.

Hailed as one of the country’s national treasures, Caravan Farm Theatre has been entertaining audiences from near and far since 1978, with Christmas shows added to the slate in 1989.

“The Christmas show usually has some kind of journey aspect because the sleighs take the audiences from scene to scene,” says artistic director Courtenay Dobbie. “You really have no idea where you are. You get whisked away and let the teamsters and staff take care of you.”

The show is based on an ancient Japanese folk tale, Dobbie unearthed 18 months ago. It is the story of a childless couple who is unable to conceive.

In a moment of despair, the moon enters their kitchen and offers them one of her own children on the condition that the couple must give her back when she turns 18.

The mother accepts the child with love and delight, but the father is resistant because he knows he will eventually lose her. He resists giving his heart away, much like Scrooge of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

Dobbie says she wanted to tie in the Japanese folk tale aspect with the theme of the old adage – never looking a gift horse in the mouth.

“We have limited time in this world with people, objects, animals, all the things we hold dear to us,” she says, noting her belief in the need to use our time wisely. “The message is ‘Love.’ It is the classic Christmas tale of love and redemption.”

There are only five actors in The Gift Horse – professionals who include Toronto’s Adam Underwood, Tim Machin, Rachael Johnston and Agnes Tong, and Sarah May Redmond from Vancouver.

The audience may only see a few faces, but they are backed by an army of behind-the scenes workers –  set designers, technical directors, props designer, carpenters, stage managers, production assistants, costume designers and mistresses, and the crew who take charge of the props and costumes, musicians, teamsters and horses during the show’s run.

“They’re all very talented  and the costumes, setting and props are stunning,” Dobbie says, noting an emphasis is always placed on using Caravan’s 80 acres of rolling farmland to best advantage.

Eight teams of horses, both Belgians and Percherons will transport the audience from scene to scene – on sleighs if mother nature delivers some snow, or on bumpier wagon rides as the alternative.

All told there will be 25 horses this year, adding to the winter holiday feel as they stamp and snort steam in the cold night air.

Also adding to the holiday decor will be one of the farm’s 60-ft. trees that has been decorated with lights from top to bottom and beautiful Japanese decorations made by volunteers.

Dobbie advises audience members to dress warmly and take a “traveller” mug in which to put their purchases of coffee or hot chocolate and Baileys, hot apple cider or apple cider with rum. Non-alcoholic drinks are also available for the younger set, as are cookies.

The Gift Horse rides out at 4, 6 and 8 p.m. from Dec. 10 to 31, preview shows take place Dec. 10 and 11 at 6 and 8 p.m. and Dec. 13 at 4 and 6 p.m. Tickets for preview shows are $22. There are no shows Dec. 19, 24 and 25.

Tickets for other performances are $20 for children 12 and under, $31 for students and seniors 65-plus and $35 for adults.

Dobbie recommends ordering tickets soon as more than 4,200 tickets have already sold. Reserve your tickets by contacting Ticket Seller at 1-866-311-1011 or reserve online at www.ticketseller.ca.

 

Just Posted

Salmar manager draws curtain on career with Salmon Arm’s independent movie theatres

After 22 years, Daila Duford announces departure at association’s AGM

VIDEO: Salmon Arm elementary students step up for Canadian Music Class Challenge

Bastion and Hillcrest elementary schools submit videos, winners announced Dec. 17

Workshops, networking events designed for Shuswap women entrepreneurs on the way

Tsuts’weye project holds successful roundtables where valuable information gathered

‘She was awesome’: Malakwa baker leaves U.S. holiday show

‘There are Christmas miracles, look at me’

Salmon Arm ranked 7th best place to work in B.C. for 2020

Categories reflecting quality of life influence ranking

VIDEO: Federal Liberals’ throne speech welcomes opposition’s ideas

Trudeau will need NDP or Bloc support to pass legislation and survive confidence votes

Morning Start: Happy Saint Nicholas Day

Your morning start for Friday, Dec. 6

EDITORIAL: Reflecting on a tragedy, 30 years later

While the Montreal Massacre made headlines because of its scale, gender-based violence is not new

Weak link in Sagmoen trial, defence says

Counsel questions whether search warrant police executed was obtained on reasonable grounds

Salmon Arm Work BC office hosts grand reopening

Services available at the office will remain similar to past offerings

VIDEO: John Lennon’s iconic Rolls Royce rolls into Vancouver Island college for checkup

Royal BC Museum, Camosun College and Coachwerks Restorations come together to care for car

North Okanagan MP says throne speech lacked specifics

‘Trudeau government presented a vague agenda,’: MP Mel Arnold

VIDEO: Rockslide closes part of Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

Petition calls for appeal of ex-Burns Lake mayor’s sentence for sex assault

Prosecution service says Luke Strimbold’s case is under review

Most Read