Only in the small, mythical country called Fenwick, east of France, founded by a wandering band of English bowmen, can one pluck a grape ripe for use in a batch of Pinot Grand Fenwick from the vine.
It is a fine wine and the small nation’s only export. That is, until industrial giant the great U.S. of A expropriates the recipe and begins producing the ambrosia more cheaply, hurdling Fenwick into an economic downslide.
What must a mouse do to wrestle its future back from an unyielding elephant in time to harvest its crop and keep the authentic hooch flowing?
Kelly Road Theatre explores these comic and philosophic questions in their production of The Mouse That Roared, a play adapted by Christopher Sergel from the book by Leonard Wibberley and directed by Geoff Rhodenizer. The play runs from December 11 to 14 at Kelly Road Secondary.
“Fenwick petitions the U.S.A., who’ve never heard of Grand Fenwick. As a final resort they figure they’ll fight a war on Monday, get wiped out on Tuesday and economic aid will come in by the weekend, but they invade New York City and win. The question remains what now?’ said Rhodenizer.
The senior drama group was going to perform the play last year but it was postponed due to September 11.
“With the general political tone this time last year it was just too touchy to do such a play so we decided to wait,” he said. Now the softwood lumber dispute between Canada and the U.S. has virtually crippled B.C.’s lumber export industry, and the parallels between this light-hearted parody and the devastation wrought by monetary greed are glaring.
Despite dealing with serious issues in mythical proportions Rhodenizer maintains humour is the best antidote in this tale.
“I have a tendency to choose comedy because it is a bit easier to do. Also, the students are more comfortable with comedy over drama, playing characters who are funny or weird rather than mature and serious,” said Rhodenizer.
That said, in the spring his students will perform Leo Tolstoy’s stormy classic Anna Karenina starring Alana Hawley as Anna.
The Mouse that Roared will include portrayals of the president of the United States and the tiny Dutchy of Grand Fenwick and involves over 30 cast and crew who have worked for months on the production.
Tickets are available at the door show night. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and curtain is at 7 p.m. Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for students with I.D., $5 for seniors with I.D. and $3 for children.