Don’t miss Trotsky Digs Fish!

Miranda Holmes

Gabriola Players

Tuesday, May 20 2014

Good news for those who missed last weekend’s opening of the Gabriola Players One-Act Play Festival. 

As Mark Smith, president of Gabriola Players, explains: “The one-act play festival was an instant hit with audiences when we introduced it in 2012. 

So much so that this year we’re running it over two weekends to avoid disappointment.”

In the quirky Variations on the Death of Trotsky (directed by Smith), husband and wife team Lawrence and Tessa Spero, along with Alex Dewar (Bert Cates in the Players’ recent production of Inherit the Wind), provide audiences with several hilarious scenarios to explain how the Russian revolutionary ended up with an axe buried in his head.  (Well, smashed, actually.)

I’m back in the director’s chair with Theatrical Digs. And there are digs-a-plenty when end-of-the-pier actress Pascaline Holbein deigns to strike up a conversation with an old lady on the esplanade. Maggie Festoon is definitely not what she seems. 

After directing 21 actors in Inherit the Wind, this two-hander was a gift. The first time I heard Catherine Andersen read the role, I knew she was born to play Maggie. 

And  we’re  lucky that Donna Deacon was able to bounce back so quickly from her role as E. K. Hornbeck to breathe such lovely life into Pascaline.”

The third play, The Way of All Fish, is delightful battle of wills between Ms Asquith (Joyce Ashley), a self-absorbed executive, and her seemingly dedicated secretary Miss Riverton (Madeleine Ani, last seen as the Wicked Queen in our panto last fall). Ashley and Ani seen in the Lawrence Spero photo to the right.

Director Anne Drozd says of her decision to tackle the play: “As in any good play, all is not what it seems and that is certainly true of The Way of All Fish.  

What director could resist a combination of murder, mayhem, sushi and push-ups? 

It’s been a pleasure watching Joyce and Madeleine come to grips – occasionally literally – with their characters.”

There will be three more performances of the One-Act Play Festival at the Rollo Centre: Friday, May 23 at 7pm and Saturday, May 24 at 2pm and 7pm. Seats are $15 and can be booked at the Village Liquor Store or on-line at