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

Samson Cree Nation cuts ribbon on waste transfer station

$5.36 million facility almost operational

Pigeon Lake hosts fourth annual art show

Artists from all over Alberta met at Village at Pigeon Lake Aug. 10 and 11

G3 Canada grain terminal at Wetaskiwin

Plenty of work going on at grain terminal site near Wetaskiwin

Get familiar with tomatillos and jicama this week

Unusual vegetables offer tartness and starchiness

Media made gaffe with wrong photo: Pigeon Lake stakeholders

Photo of algae bloom with bacteria story created confusion, say community leaders

Trudeau vows to stand firm against ‘increasingly assertive’ China

China has accused Canada of meddling in its affairs

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Body of 19-year-old drowning victim recovered from Sylvan Lake

RCMP say the body was recovered the evening of Aug. 22.

Black bear ruins Alberta barber’s day

It’s not always a good idea to leave the door open

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Red Deer Rebels Training Camp begins Aug. 24

Rebels home opener will be on Sept. 21 against the Edmonton Oil Kings

UPDATED: Search continues for possible drowning on Sylvan Lake

Sylvan Lake RCMP and Fire Department continue their search for 20-something adult male

New study suggests autism overdiagnosed: Canadian expert

Laurent Mottron: ‘Autistic people we test now are less and less different than typical people’

Most Read