Ride a Rottenworm in to See Funfolk’s The Princess and the Plumber!

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It’s princess (Eibhlin Finlay-Sheilds) vs. wizard (Maia Hillsley)! Photo: Sarah Sobanski.

Everything is going according to plan for Funfolk’s rendition of The Princess and the Plumber, premiering March 13th at the Millbrook Legion. Costumes are ready – including a very creative worm sewn together around humps of foam and pool noodles – and lines have been memorized!

Children from Lakefield, Peterborough and Cavan Monaghan Township have been working together since November to prepare for this year’s play – the 8th produced by Funfolk. They’ve repainted the backdrop, the same through all the years of the March Break theatre group, and as always all customs have been designed and sewn by master sewer and coordinator Jackie Franco.

This year, in place of Franco’s usual partner in crime Pat Bar, who is taking time to visit family, children’s author and creator of The Princess and the Plumber Shan McFadden, will be narrating and directing. McFadden wrote The Princess and the Plumber to diverge from the typical fairytale plot. He says while he didn’t mean for it to be a feminist piece at first, it took on a feminist air when the princess became the warrior hero, instead of the princess needing saving. It stands out that each of the play’s leads are also played by girls.

“We call ourselves the Funfolk, and we have fun,” says Franco laughing as the children move through their second last rehearsal before opening night. She thinks back to the first year she and Bar started the theatre group. They had to have adults fill in parts when there wasn’t enough children. Now the play is composed solely of children which she thinks is wonderful – this year’s youngest is four-years-old and the oldest is14-years-old. Franco also explains that ticket prices ($5 a ticket) haven’t changed, and she hopes will not change, over their years of production. She says that’s important so everyone has the opportunity to see the play.

This year’s cast includes Abby Stapley as plumber Gus, Eibhlin Finlay-Sheilds as warrior princess Valerie, Amara McFadden as their trusty Rottenworm, Lacey Todd as Jason the phone-addicted magical protégé, Aisling McQuarrie as Sofia, Maia Hillsley as Merbo the fumbling wizard villain and Simone Watson as Stanley. You’ll also see dancing knights as Locklan McFadden plays Sir Prancelot, Gailey Monner plays Sir Crazylegs, Sam McGrattan plays Sir PopNLock and Violet Jackson plays Sir Macarena. Be told the story by Saoirse McQuarrie as Chimer, Jocelyn Burke as Baby Elf, Max Todd as Sleepy, Maeve Fitzgerald as Scowler, Evy Jackson as Twitchy and Caoimhe McQuarrie as Cheery to form up the stories Elvhen Chorus, narrating and commenting in a Princess Brides storybook interruptions kind of way along side Shan McFadden, and hail our Queen played by Mia Hillsley and our King played by Locklan McFadden!

You’ll have to check out Funfolk’s The Princess and The Plumber March 13th at 2 p.m and 6:30 p.m, 14th at 2 p.m and 6:30 p.m or 15th at 2 p.m, to see these characters in action. For more information and to get involved next year, email Franco at francoda@nexicom.net or call 705-932-2313. Tickets are bound to go fast!

By: Sarah Sobanski

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