A jewel in the crown for Peninsula Players

Local theatre troupe celebrates its 60th by honouring the Queen’s 60th on the throne, with humour and history

Like the Queen, this year the Peninsula Players will celebrate their Diamond Jubilee of 60 years of local theatre.

The group known as the Peninsula Players was first formed at a meeting in November of 1952 at St. Andrew’s Hall in Sidney. Their first show was held the next year on March 7 at North Saanich School and consisted of three short plays. The Players’ first full length production, Laburnum Grove, took place in November of the same year.

In 1955 the Players entered the B.C. Drama Festival for the first time and have since won many awards at subsequent festivals, including two in the B.C. Drama Festival finals this year.

Peninsula Players have produced around 150 shows during their 60 years of existence and currently perform four or five shows a year at the Charlie White Theatre, the Berwick Royal Oak and Muse Winery in North Saanich.

They have a rehearsal room, storage, workshop and meeting facilities at the former Saanichton elementary school on Mount Newton X Road. Their long-term goal is to have a completely self-contained facility where they can not only rehearse, build sets and store costumes, but also perform.

To celebrate their Jubilee year, the group will perform a review of the historical events from William the Conqueror in 1066, up to William, Duke of Cambridge in 2012. The show contains readings from writers over the last 1,000 years, sketches, comedy and music.

“Canadian Heritage sent out a notice early in the year for groups to do something for the Queen’s Jubilee,” explained Richard Mills of the Players. “We thought we might get a small group together and what we came up with was a kind of review that features the high points of the kings and queens of England over the years. It’s a fun show, there’s some very good actors in it and it’s lighthearted. We have fun with it.”


Crown Jewels

What: Peninsula Players’ production of Crown Jewels.

Where: Charlie White Theatre in the Mary Winspear Centre.

When: Saturday, Aug. 25 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 26 at 2 p.m.

Tickets: $12, available through the Mary Winspear box office at www.marywinspear.ca or call 250-656-0275.

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