Big Maggie brings big laughs

For what is ultimately a fairly sad story about family, loss and struggle, the cast of the Rivercity Players’ current production, Big Maggie, had a full theatre laughing out loud Sunday afternoon during opening weekend.

The language is very colourful and the personalities are very strong in this John B. Keane play set in rural Ireland in the 1960s.

Big Maggie is the story of Maggie Polpin and her family.

Newly widowed, Maggie grasps the opportunity to take control of her life and future fortunes. She is sure she knows what’s best for herself and her four adult children and she’s willing to do — and say — whatever it takes.

This well-written story looks at the complicated relationships between mothers and their children, between men and women and at the way we treat each other.

The entire cast does a fantastic job of bringing this play to life, and there is a lot of funny dialogue and great physical touches and facial expressions that really add to the characters.

The dialogue and characters are real strengths in this play. A simple set — most of the play is set in the Poplins’ shop — keeps the focus on the characters and their interactions, which works really well in this play.

Big Maggie is a force and Denise Comeau-Darnell does a great job of bringing her big personality to life.

Colin McPherson is great as lovelorn Byrne, who makes headstones at the graveyard, and Joel Loeve does slimy well as the “playboy” Teddy.

Julie Rigby is very lovable as Gert, Maggie’s poor daughter whose spirit gets crushed by her mother often.

Christina Peterson shows great range as daughter Katie, who gets beaten by her mother for sleeping with a married man but still manages to keep her spirit and her sharp tongue.

Patrick Baird and Aron Welsh play Maggie’s sons. Welsh has a fiery temper as Mick, and he leaves the family farm soon after his father’s death, getting far away from his mother when he realizes he’s not getting his share of the farm that his father promised him. Baird does a great job as the hapless Maurice, who wants to marry Mary Madden but has to wait while his mother considers the idea.

Lori Caron and Mary Bedard-Green are very funny as gossipy townswomen, while Cielo Richardson shows some spunk as young Mary Madden when she stands up to Maggie, and Sandi Loomans has a powerful presence as tough Mrs. Madden.

Big Maggie continues this week, April 28, 29 and 30 at 7:30 p.m. at the Rivercity Stage at 1080 Hemlock St.

Big Maggie, directed by Margaret Keane, is the Rivercity Players’ entry for the North Island Zone Festival in May. The Rivercity Players are hosting the festival this year, which takes place May 15-20 at the Rivercity Stage.

For information about tickets to Big Mggie and to the North Island Zone Drama Festival, visit rivercityplayers.ca.

 

Just Posted

PHOTOS: More than 40 people gather for pro-choice rally

Event was planned to coincide with pro-abortion speaker Denise Mountenay presentation

Carihi Tyees win Island Championships

Senior girls volleyball team only lost two sets in the whole tournament

Campbell River RCMP look to identify four break-in suspects

Quinsam Communications had three separate break-ins Wednesday night, four suspects wanted

Stuck barge removed from Quadra, TSB on its way to investigate

‘Had it been loaded with railcars containing toxic chemicals … we may have had a serious issue’

Fish Are Food: A look at seafood sustainability

Conference at Maritime Heritage Centre to discuss food security from a marine perspective

Teen with cancer whose viral video urged Canadians to vote has died, uncle tweets

Maddison Yetman had been looking forward to voting in her first federal election since junior high school

Striking Vancouver hotel workers, employer reach ‘tentative’ agreement

Employees of the Rosewood Hotel Georgia have been out at picket lines since talks broke off on Sept. 21

Environmental and animal rights activists chain themselves to front doors of Kelowna bank

The group is protesting Interior Savings Credit Union’s support of Kelowna Ribfest

Cold, stormy winter forecast across much of Canada, The Weather Network predicts

In British Columbia temperatures will be slightly above normal and precipitation will be just below normal

Cell phone tickets worse tax grab than speed limits, SenseBC says

Distracted driving statistics questioned as B.C. tickets pile up

Comox Strathcona Waste Management looks at closing unstaffed depots

Amount of recycling material tainted seen as much bigger problem at these sites

Rowing Canada, UVic investigate celebrated coach for harassment, abuse

Lily Copeland says she felt intimidated and trapped by Williams

Cleanup in the works after tanker truck fire leads to oil spill in B.C.’s Peace region

The province said the majority of the spilled oil likely burned away in the fire.

Fisherman missing near Lake Cowichan’s Shaw Creek

Family is asking for everyone and anyone to keep their eyes open,… Continue reading

Most Read