A Little Dickens On The Air

Pipestone Flyer

You may recognize the name of Chris McKerracher as Pipestone Flyer’s witty humorist or the editorial column author who challenges us to think on a weekly basis, but a trip to Calmar, Alberta on a frigid Friday evening proved him to be so much more.

Chris’ latest contribution to the artistic community was his three act stage play, “A Little Dickens On The Air,” performed by the talented cast of the Calmar Prairie Players whose on stage antics and facial expressions brought a continuous chuckle from the smaller than hoped for crowd who braved the -28c evening to attend.

Set in an era when television threatened the popularity of radio shows, a local voice cast was to perform a live on-air rendition of Dickens ‘A Christmas Carol’, fearing it would be the final performance before their show was canceled. Unfortunately, some of the cast was waylaid in a bar, the self-proclaimed star of the show (Lance Boyle played by Keith Froese) becomes indignant of the apparent lack of respect for his abilities and walks off the show with his girlfriend, and another key voice actor (Ronald, played by Chris McKerracher) arrives on the scene late, drunk and in desperate need of a bathroom.

Driven by the need for the show to go on, Buddy (played by Mike Keindel), an optimist who has, “a perfect face for radio” rallies a rag tag cast to fill in. Joining a staggering Ronald and Doris Knight, ‘a fading star’ (played by Angie Podgurney) was the sound booth gal Leslie (played by Trish Fleming in her first role ever), Buddy’s ‘sist-ah’ Clara (Leah Keller) who takes over the foley gig, and Betty, the swooning gal who has eyes for Buddy (played by Tammy Bateman).

This clever and comical play helped initiate the Christmas season as it fully recounted the Christmas Carol script being told in quite good accented voices, the product of the drama troupe’s hard work, practice and involvement of a voice coach.

What truly is remarkable was their ability to keep the story going despite the antics of the cast behind the readers. The voice cast, assuming it to be their final ride, takes up sneaking snorts of Ronald’s multiple flasks throughout the show, despite their German station owner Mrs. Nettle’s stern warnings (played by Angela Jahnke), slowly becoming more and more inebriated, and comical. Despite the flirting, snorting, giggling and even more drinking, the show pushed on to completion, and to the surprise of everyone, had the highest number of listeners ever, forcing Mrs. Nettle to agree to another year of work.

Chris and the Calmar Prairie Players are to be commended on a good and entertaining show. With the poor weather hurting attendance as bad as it did, Chris commented it was, “very disappointing for the club, but not as much for the cast. We still had a great time rehearsing and performing.”

Pictured: L to R – Doris Knight (Angie Podgurney), Ronald (Chris McKerracher) and Buddy (Mike Keindel) Photos by Ken Mathias

Just Posted

County of Wetaskiwin gravel hauling rates getting boost

Councilors vote to increase haul rate from $0.149 to $0.186 per tonne km

Wetaskiwin RCMP inspector ‘not surprised’ with Crime Severity Index

Inspector puts Maclean’s ‘Most Dangerous’ feature into perspective

UPDATED Two dead after head-on collision near Millet

UPDATED Wetaskiwin RCMP investigating, one dies at hospital

Wetaskiwin Chamber luncheon cancelled Nov. 16

Bad weather, icy roads mean benefits talk rescheduled for January

City of Wetaskiwin didn’t apply utility hikes to bills

Clerical financial error discovered by Wetaskiwin city council

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

Six students arrested, charged in sex assault probe at Toronto all-boys school

The school’s principal, Greg Reeves, described the video of the alleged sexual assault as ‘horrific’

Calgary Stampeders back to Grey Cup with 22-14 win over Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Calgary was favoured to win the 2017 and 2016 Grey Cups, but lost to the Toronto Argonauts and Ottawa Redblacks respectively.

‘A giant step forward’: new $10 bill featuring Viola Desmond to enter circulation

A new $10 banknote featuring Viola Desmond’s portrait will go into circulation, just over 72 years after she was ousted from the whites-only section of a movie theatre in New Glasgow, N.S.

Searchers in California wildfire step up efforts; 77 dead

Trump arrived at the oceanside conclave Saturday afternoon after visiting Northern California to survey the wildfire damage in the town of Paradise.

Trump says ‘no reason’ for him to hear Khashoggi death tape

“It’s a suffering tape, it’s a terrible tape. I’ve been fully briefed on it, there’s no reason for me to hear it,” Trump said in the interview.

Canada Post calls for ‘cooling off’ period to allow for mediated talks

The proposal came as Canada Post workers continued their rotating strikes Monday after rejecting the Crown agency’s latest offer.

Metro Vancouver homicide detectives busy after separate weekend deaths

Homicide detectives in Metro Vancouver are investigating separate cases involving two deaths they say appear to be either targeted or suspicious.

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Most Read