Yann Troutet, as the dame, is performing with his daughter Maïté in Archie in Nelsondale. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

Archie in Nelsondale hits the stage Nov. 28 with inter-generational cast

Nelson’s annual Christmas Pantomime features ‘one-liners, familiar songs, and general silliness’

Gwendolyn Pusey’s father Allan Pusey plays the bad guy in this year’s Christmas Pantomime, and she thinks that’s pretty funny.

“It’s fun to watch your parent onstage and it’s fun to be acting with them, because Dad is the bad guy, so we have to react like he is the bad guy.”

Her sister Jasmine Grace agrees.

“For him to take on a character that is so unlike himself, that is neat to see,” she says.

As for their Dad, he likes the connection this creates with his daughters.

“I see how passionate they are about acting, and I love being part of that energy as they are bringing their characters to life.”

This opportunity for parents and kids to perform together, singing and acting and dancing in an inter-generational cast of dozens, is built into the pantomime.

Over the past 30 years it’s become a popular performance opportunity for kids, but those under 13 are not allowed to participate unless one of their parents does too.

So for years Nelson kids have been helping their parents venture past their adult comfort zones by performing a wacky musical story in front of sold-out Capitol Theatre audiences.

Pantomime is an old British theatre tradition (and it has nothing to do with mime).

The story is traditionally a well-known fairytale, but fractured, with surprise plot twists and local humour. There is always a character known as the dame — a female character played by a man — and the principal boy, played by a female actor.

But this year, director Laurie Jarvis has ditched the fairy tale part.

For this year’s pantomime she’s written a version of the Archie comics that is, in her carefully chosen word, “silly.”

In Archie in Nelsondale, she says, “The characters are strong, very clear, and well known, and the tricky thing is, let’s just take that 50 per cent more, increase the silliness. And squish them into the panto thing.

“There is lots of audience participation and bad one-liners. You can go and have a few laughs and sing a bit. Come and have a good time.”

Jarvis says there are 10 parent-child combos in the show.

“Parents and kids doing something together that neither of them have done together before is so cool,” she says.

One of those parents is Yann Troutet, who plays the dame, and his daughter Maïté.

“I love it,” Maïté says. “Just the feeling of being on stage. I love theatre and it’s funny seeing him as the dame. I really love the [Capitol Theatre’s] costume shop too.”

Her father says he would not be doing this on his own.

“I love how the panto is set up so it is a family thing, and Maïté has been a huge help. She is my rehearsal partner at home. She knows my lines better than I do.”

Archie in Nelsondale will be performed at the Capitol Theatre Nov. 28, 29, and 30 at 7:30 p.m. There are matinees Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at 2 p.m. Tyler Isaacs Dejong is the musical director and Carly Brandel is the choreographer.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Heather Gingras, in rehearsal, is stoked. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

Choreographer Carly Brandel works with a group of her dancers in rehearsal. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

Sela Phillips, 8, has a big role in Archie in Nelsondale. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

Yann Troutet, Mary Defeo and Jody Dool. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

Just Posted

Columbia Basin Trust shuffles board, new leaders at the table

The Trust is governed by a 12-member Board of Directors

School District 8: No visiting Chinese students have coronavirus

SD8 says its international students have already been screened for the virus

COLUMN: Slocan Valley environmentalist deserves thanks for tenacity

Marilyn Burgoon stepped in when no one else would to ensure justice in the Lemon Creek fuel spill

VIDEO: Nelson’s Emily Taylor wins bronze at junior weightlifting nationals

Taylor was competing in Edmonton as part of Team B.C.

Leafs clinch playoff spot with weekend road wins

Brandon Costa scored twice in his debut with Nelson

VIDEO: As 106 reported dead from the coronavirus outbreak, countries look to evacuate citizens

Canada is warning its residents to not go to Hubei province at all

Pregnant B.C. woman stuck in Wuhan, the epicentre of coronavirus outbreak

Woman is due to give birth in Wuhan, China unless she can get out

After four sexual assaults in the same B.C. park, RCMP ask women not to walk alone

Four sexual assaults took place in Glen Park over two months

Taxi association asks B.C. Supreme Court to stop Uber, Lyft from operating

Petition alleges Passenger Transportation Board did not take taxis into account

Majority of Canadian boards had no female members in 2016 and 2017: StatCan

Statistics Canada says 18.1 per cent of director seats were held by women in 2017

Swapping grape varieties can help winemakers adapt to climate change: UBC study

Report says 56% of wine-grape-growing regions would be lost if global climate warms by 2 C

Alberta premier wants feds to approve Teck mine for benefit of First Nations

Kenney: ‘Surely [reconciliation] means saying yes to economic development for First Nations people’

NDP suggests easing secondary housing rules for B.C. farmland

Lana Popham proposes guest homes not just for relatives

BC Place lights up in purple and yellow to honour Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash

Most Read