Theatre Review: The Gravesavers

Magical theatre for young and old.

I try really hard not pre-judge shows, but I had read Sheree Fitch’s YA novel The Gravesavers, and it seemed to me that the new theatre company, Halifax Theatre for Young People, was being overly ambitious in mounting it. It just didn’t seem possible that a play could convey the time shifts between 1873 and present-day in an easily understandable way, or that it would be able to capture Fitch’s lip-slippery language and offbeat characters. And what about the ship wreck? How on earth could any play not on a Mirvish-level budget hope to portray the all-important and terrifying shipwreck that is at the centre of the story? Well, I now know better than to underestimate the magic of theatre. Chris Heide’s theatrical adaptation has captured the beauty and poetry of Fitch’s work. Tessa Mendel’s capable and inspired direction ensures that even young kids will be spellbound. And as for the acting? The five core actors truly lit up the stage. The Gravesavers is must-see theatre for the whole family.

Show times: Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 2 and 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m.; Wednesday to Friday, May 20 to 22, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, May 23, 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, May 24, 2 p.m., at the Bella Rose Performing Arts Centre in Halifax West High School.

Tickets: $10 per child or student, $15 adult or $40 for a family of four. Book tickets by phone (902) 457-3239, online at www.bellaroseartscentre.com, or get them at the door. Company website is halifaxtheatreforyoungpeople.weebly.com

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