The Theatre Royal travelling troupe’s Phoenix Tour comes to Williams Lake for the North Central Local Government Association (NCLGA) on Thursday for a performance of Mrs McGinley’s Gold Rush Variety Show.
They will put on the show for mayors and councillors who represent communities from 100 Mile House to the Yukon border and from Haida Gwaii to Alberta. The NCLGA covers 69 per cent of B.C.’s landmass, seven per cent of its population and almost 60 per cent of the province’s Aboriginal population.
“To quote Ed Sullivan, ‘this is a really big shew.’ It’s exciting to think we have the opportunity to perform in front of such a diverse audience representing so many different communities,” Producer Richard Wright of the Newman & Wright Theatre Company said.
“We’re delighted to be performing at the NCLGA and in Williams Lake, a community that was hit hard by the wildfires in 2017.”
Williams Lake residents were evacuated during the record-setting fire season of 2017 and endured disruption thanks to another unprecedented season in 2018. The courage and resilience shown by communities like Williams Lake during back-to-back, record-breaking years for wildfires was the inspiration for the Phoenix Tour.
“We want to let the rest of the province and elsewhere know that the Cariboo is open for business and we’re bouncing back from the flames, just like the legendary Phoenix bird,” Wright said.
“We’re excited for the opportunity to feature a performance by the Theatre Royal at the 64th annual North Central Local Government Association’s AGM and Conference,” Mayor Walt Cobb said.
“It’s always an entertaining glimpse into the past and a great showcase of our region’s colourful history.”
The NCLGA is the advocacy body for all local government officials in North Central British Columbia and is holding its convention in Williams Lake from May 7 to 10.
Delegates will be treated to a performance of “Mrs McGinley’s Gold Rush Variety Show.” Set in 1869, it features everything from farcical comedy to a poignant song from home to stirring dance numbers. In the ensemble cast, Amy Newman plays Mrs McGinley, Simon Paterson is Major Downey, Theo Budd is Isaac Birch Fisher and Lucy Sim plays Miss Dolly Johns.
The tour kicked off May 3 in Wells and has been receiving standing ovations in packed halls. Other shows have been held in Prince George, Burns Lake, Vanderhoof and Fraser Lake. The troupe will also perform in 100 Mile House and Valemount before wrapping up in Ashcroft on Mother’s Day.
For a sneak preview, check out this video clip of the 2017 performance of “Mrs McGinley’s Gold Rush Variety Show” staged at Theatre Royal in Barkerville Historic Town & Park. For updates and other information, please visit the Theatre Royal Facebook page.
The show is sponsored by the Community Resilience Through Arts and Culture program (Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture), Barkerville Gold Mines, New Pathways to Gold Society (NPTGS), the Friends of Barkerville Cariboo Goldfields Historical Society, Barkerville Historic Town & Park and Frog on the Bog/Mountain Thyme/St. George Hotel.
The project partners gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia.
Communications support for the tour is being provided by NPTGS, a non-profit organization committed to developing local economies in the Hope to Barkerville corridor through heritage tourism development, First Nations reconciliation and Multiculturalism. For more information, please visit the NPTGS website.