During these past few weeks people in the Cove might’ve heard sounds of uncontrollable laughter, inconsolable weeping, spine-tingling opera performances, as well as some horrible off-key singing.
The exact source of these concerts has been the de Zwart family’s colourful living room. It has been transformed into a rehearsal space for their little theatre production company, Coracina Theatre.
The name “Coracina”, meaning “raven black” in Latin, was chosen to reflect the Dutch meaning of the family’s surname, de Zwart, which translates into “The Black”.
Under the direction of their eldest (almost 19-year-old) son, Robin de Zwart, and with consultation provided by Jack and Julie Headley (of Tir-na-nOg Theatre), Coracina Theatre is producing its very first play: Random Acts of Comedy. This is a hilarious series of skits based on the popular British comedy show Smack the Pony.
A small group of British women, including Fiona Allen, Doon Mackichan and Sally Phillips, wrote and performed Smack the Pony. They wanted to promote female comedians on television and were very successful doing so.
The Emmy Award-winning series ran on Channel 4 from 1999 to 2003, featuring a hysterical mix of physical comedy, delightfully bizarre scenarios and just plain silly sketches. Comedic targets and recurring themes included the medical community, the new-age movement, unsuccessful relationships, as well as competition in the workplace.
With the creators’ written permission, 24 Smack the Pony skits will be brought to the Tir-na-nOg Theatre stage by a wonderful mix of actors, ranging from seasoned thespians to enthusiastic newbies: Lisa Black, Eva de Zwart, Jim de Zwart, Robin de Zwart, Thomas de Zwart, Heather Hodson, Tom Matzen, David McCullum, Laura O’Neill, Tina Overbury, Chiara Perin, Beverly Rapley, Tanya Voormeij-de Zwart, Lynn Williams, and Jara Zeimer.
Most of the cast consists of community members, but two of them travel back and forth from the mainland. All for an excellent cause!
The profits from Coracina Theatre’s inaugural play will be donated to a scholarship fund for the Tir-na-nOg Theatre School as a way for Robin to give back to the school he attended for 12 years.
Performance dates will be Saturday, August 4 and Sunday, August 5 at 7 p.m., at Tir-na-nOg Theatre, at 585 Rivendell Drive. The show is expected to be under two hours, with ample time to head over to the island’s Dock Dance, or catch a ferry back to Horseshoe Bay.
Tickets, priced at $20, are available at Cates Pharmacy or may be bought at the door. PG 13+ recommended!