’Tis the week before Christmas and all through the town, most folks are getting ready to settle on down.
Well, with the exception of last-minute shoppers who will swarm the shops this weekend.
Most local theatre and performing groups have wrapped their concerts, and television is running the annual Christmas re-runs.
But Caravan Farm Theatre offers an opportunity to get outside for a while and enjoy a sleigh-ride theatre production that features the “truth” about Christmas – well, Caravan’s version of how Santa got his start in the secular part of the season.
Written by Vancouver theatre writers Michael Rinaldi and TJ Dawe, Old Nick is a hilarious jumble of many of the traditions that will unfold in Canadian homes within the next week.
First-class, professional actors run with (literally) the redemptive tale of how an irritable recluse, who dislikes everything, becomes a loving champion for children everywhere.
The tale opens in front of a roaring fire, where an old miner rails at the world and chases a chimney sweep off his property – the first of several such noisy encounters between the miner and the chimney sweep, who also acts as the show’s narrator.
It’s onto the sleighs and off through the woods of the 40-acre farm, gliding over the snow from one exquisite set to another.
Just as credit must be given to set designer Marshall McMahen, huge kudos go to costume designer Erin Macklem and lighting and props designers Stephen Bircher and Scott Crocker.
This is a magical fairyland occupied by buffoons, fools and Keystone Cop antics, with dialogue and action to please the entire family.
In between the exciting action, the sleighs travel through hushed open fields and forest, the somehow sacred silence of the night far more appealing than TV commercials.
The Caravan Farm winter experience is a chance to escape from the hullabaloo of commercial Christmas to a land of imagination and laughter.
While the actors hop on the sleighs for a few of the distant sets, they have to run between others – quite the feat in the dark and snowy woods.
Old Nick is part of a string of winter offerings that form an annual tradition for many families – and they almost always sell out.
As of Monday morning, tickets were available for all three shows this evening at 4, 6 and 8 p.m.; 4 and 8 p.m. only on Dec. 20 and all shows on Dec. 29, 30 and 31.
If you want to go to this year’s show, act fast and call Ticket Seller now at 250-549-SHOW (7469), or vista www.ticketseller.ca.