(Posted Dec. 12, 2018)
Stock production a nostalgic look at the homefront during
By Fred Sherwin
have to hand it to the folks at Vintage Stock Theatre for
staging a play that is both nostalgic and tremendously entertaining
at the same time.
A Ribbon is set in a rural Ontario town during the
Second World War. The play revolves around the Dickson
family, which lives near a German internment camp.
Dickson, played by Sarah Allen, is admonished
by her grandmother, played by Gisèle
Rivest, after she is discovered keeping company
with a German POW in the Vintage Stock Theatre
production of 'Just a Ribbon'. Fred SherwinéPhoto
family matriarch is Jennet Mayes. She lives with her son
Alex and his six children -- five daughters and one son.
We find out late on in the play that his wife passed
away years earlier.
eldest of the girls, named Trixie, becomes engaged to
her army boyfriend who is then deployed overseas. Before
he leaves, he gives her a ribbon to wear in her hair until
he returns. But as fate would have it, he is killed and
she goes into a period of mourning.
the same time, Jennet's friend Cynthia Cook decides to
join the Women’s Royal Canadian Navy Service. During her
basic training she meets and falls in love with a fellow
sailor. Because he is superior in rank, she has to leave
the navy in order for them to get married.
meanwhile, has been seen "keeping company" with
one of the German POWs. Which is to say she has been talking
to him as he goes for a walk with a camp guard. It was
common practice at the time for prisoners to be extended
certain privileges for good behavior, including the privilege
of going on walks outside the camp.
Trixie's grandmother finds out about her walks, her grandmother
loses her temper. She vehemently argues that the Germans
are the enemy, and that fraternizing with the POWs is
Trixie still wears the ribbon her deceased boyfirend gave
her, she wears it differently, causing it to lose it's
the final scene. the timeline has advanced to 1962. Jennet
and her son Alex are trimming the Christmas tree with
homemade ornaments that contain pictures of the Dickson
the scene we learn that Trixie and her German boyfriend,
Ray, got married after the war ended and he was released
from the POW camp.
Mayes leaves the room, Alex finds the ribbon that Trixie's
long deceased fiancé gave her before he went off
to join the war effort. He discovers it in the box of
ornaments and ties it to one of the branches on the Christmas
tree as the lights fade to black.
A Ribbon is another wonderful production written and
directed by Vintage Stock mainstay Marni Hunt-Stephens,
whose attention to detail and clever script writing provides
the wind in the sails of a marvelous cast that includes
some incredibly talented young actresses.
Rivest is simply superb as the grandmother, especially
given the fact that she appears in 90 per cent of the
play and has the lion's share of the dialogue. I also
loved Doreen Guibord as Cynthia Cook, who is quickly becoming
one of my favourite local actors.
rest of the ensemble cast includes Sarah Allen as Trixie
Dickson, Nik Cotter as Alex Dickson, Isabelle Strachan
as Emily Dickson, Colin Seay as Willie Dickson, Nadine
Hirst as Amelia Dickson, Eve Oakes as Sid Dickson, Katniss
Gallinger as Alexandra Dickson. Ian McGregor as Rev. Daniels,
Brenda Goulet as Gladys McNab, Katie Webb as Freda Pitfield,
Ella Boileau as Betty Smythe, and Diane Morris, Pat Messier
and Judy Baker as the church ladies.
play was produced by Michael Lane and Katrina Soroka served
as the stage manager.
Vintage Stock Theatre holiday production has become an
annual tradition for those who appreciate and support
local amateur theatre. The company also stages a Shades
of the Evening lamplight production on the grounds of
the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum every spring, as
well as a murder mystery dinner production in the summer.
'Just a Ribbon' take a curtain call follwing
their performance on December 8. Fred SherwinéPhoto
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)
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