Bottle Tree Productions Presents: Cinderella – A Christmas Pantomime!


December 6th, 2011
Kingston, Ontario

Bottle Tree Productions presents


Saturday, Dec. 17th @ The Kingston Christian School: matinee 3pm; evening 7 pm tickets $10/children, $12/seniors, $15/adults

Sunday, Dec. 18th @ L’Octave Theatre: Matinee 3pm; evening 7pm, tickets $10/children, $12/seniors, $15/adults

Our holiday offering for 2011 is Cinderella, a tried and true favourite for people of all ages. This fast-paced pantomime is Cinderella with a twist – the Prince is afflicted by a serious condition that only true love can cure!  Familiar characters of the stepmother and stepsisters conspire against Cinderella and she is helped by her Fairy Godmother.  Come see what’s happening at the Palace Ball!

This version of Cinderella was adapted for the stage by Charles Robertson with music and lyrics by popular local musician Michael K Myers.

This year, it’s a family affair!  The talented MacPherson brothers, John and Ian, have already recently starred in two big musicals in Kingston.  John starred in the Kinsmen Production of Footloose where he starred as Ren while Ian played the Artful Dodger in the Meistersingers production of Oliver!  The boys hail from Napanee.

Sara Sturgeon and her brother Eric Sturgeon also recently appeared in Oliver!

Director Anne Marie Mortensen of her experience with Oliver! said, “Ian, Sara and Eric were great to work with.  We feel very lucky to have them perform in Cinderella.  They are very dedicated young actors.  And what’s more to have such a talented young actor as John involved in the show is great.”

Anne Marie’s son Daniel also had played in Oliver!  Her daughter Hannah will add to the festivities by singing before the show.  She recently starred in KCVI’s musical Blood Brothers as Mrs. Johnson.

Co-director Charles Robertson commented that, “Both Daniel and Hannah are very dedicated and talented kids in acting and singing.  They are also extremely high achievers in academics. They have a great work ethic.”  He went on to say, “Each theatrical production creates its own family where oftentimes life-long friendships are formed.  There are never friendships anywhere else like those that are made in theatre.  For a show to work, actors and crew need to be able to trust each other; to be able to pull together as a team.  I think that after a show is done, many performers feel a great sense of loss.  But while it lasts, it’s a wonderful family to belong to.”

Anne Marie Mortensen (Oliver!) and Charles Robertson (Romeo and Juliet) co-direct this family-friendly pantomime version of Cinderella, the rags to riches story of a kind young girl forced to work from morning ‘til night by her mean stepsisters and stepmother.  Forced to wear rags and to sleep not in a bed but by the fireplace, she dreams of meeting the handsome Prince Charming.

But Prince Charming has problems of his own.  Prince Charming has no charm. He is a nerd. Boy is he a nerd!  A fun-filled treat for the whole family! Starring John Macpherson (Ren in Footloose) as the shy and awkward prince, and Sara Sturgeon (Oliver!) as the beautiful and kind-hearted Cinderella. Other cast members include John Farant as the malpractice-waiting-to-happen, Doctor Doc and Khira Wieting and Daniel Powell as the ugly stepsisters.  Try to guess which stepsister is really a girl.  Bryden Trapp is their conniving mother.  Ian Macpherson who starred as the Artful Dodger in Oliver! plays the long suffering servant to the prince.  The boot scene alone is worth the price of admission.

Allyson Foster plays the beautiful Fairy Godmother who has a few magic tricks up her sleeve.  Daniel Smith and Meg Morgan play the king and queen.  Catchy songs and silly dialogue make this a light treat for the Holiday season.  Ian Lamb, Eric Sturgeon, and Ted Mathers also star.  No actors, animals or pumpkins were harmed in this production.  Stage managed by Claire Morgan.  For more information and to purchase tickets please go to

Pre-show entertainment will feature songs by 18 year-old Hannah Smith, who teams up with Alex Whitehead. Her great contralto voice is sure to leave you wanting more.

Bottle Tree Productions contact info: or
or call us at 613-384-8433


Theatre 5 Presents “Educating Rita” Starring Hannah Smith & Robert Bowes

Photo by Désirée E. Turcotte

I’m a little late in posting about this play but I think that it deserves my attention because I am, after all, a fan of Kingston’s finest young actress, Hannah Smith. You can catch her this week in:


The Baiden Street Theatre (57 Baiden St.), home of Theatre 5 presents Educating Rita, a sparkling comedy directed by Valerie Robertson, starring Robert Bowes and Hannah Smith, where the physics of love are demonstrated when an irresistible woman meets an immovable man in the hallowed halls of learning.

Show runs Thursday to Saturday evenings from Nov. 25 – Dec. 11 at 8 p.m.

Tickets available at Peters Drugs or at the door.

FROM THE WHIG STANDARD – November 27, 2010

by Greg Burliuk

A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. The two characters in Educating Rita spend the whole play basically arguing that point.

And in Theatre 5’s production of the popular play, it’s a fascinating debate.

The play first premiered in 1980 in London and in 1983 was made into an Oscar-nominated film starring Michael Caine and Julie Walters. The latter however added characters are only referred to in the original two-person play.

The concept is one that is borrowed from George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, about a young working class woman seeking to better herself through an educated tutor. Rita playwright Willy Russell makes things more interesting however, by making the two characters more equal. The young hairdresser who has decided to change her name to Rita is more feisty than Eliza Doolittle was in Pygmalion, and Frank her tutor is a bit of a drunken sot and not so prim and perfect as Professor Higgins.

Rita thinks knowledge and education will set her soul free, while Frank has found it’s stifled him, to the point that he has to turn to drink in self-disgust.

The seven scenes in each act become a journey of self-discovery for both characters, but chiefly for Rita.

The whole play takes place in Frank’s office, and Theatre 5’s intimate theatre makes you feel like you are sitting in a corner of it and a real part of the proceedings.

Lovers of literature will enjoy the little morsels of knowledge that Frank passes on, but most will prefer hearing Rita’s unique and comical take on her life, as she struggles to be more than a working-class wife whose husband wants nothing more from her than to be pregnant.

This is a play full of lots of words so it’s no mean feat for the two actors on stage to be able to handle a mountain full of lines. Plus it’s crucial that there be an intimacy between the two that has no element of sexuality between it, something that’s very hard to do.

And it’s a compliment to Theatre 5’s actors that they manage to both deal well with the lines and more importantly, the complex but tender relationship between the two.

The two represent a youthful and veteran side of Kingston’s theatre scene. Since he’s moving to Burnaby, British Columbia, this will be Robert Bowes’ last appearance on a Kingston stage after 30 years of doing so. It’s one of his best performances. He nicely captures the dissolute despair of Frank, who only sees sunlight when Rita brings her cheekiness and fresh ideas into the room. And there’s something to be said for an actor who can play drunkenness without having to stereotypically slur his syllables.

Hannah Smith is still in high school but has already had several starring roles, most notably in Bottle Tree Production shows. Her Rita is saucy but tormented by feelings of inadequacy. What I like most about her performance is the furious energy she brings to the role which parallels the turmoil that’s going on in Rita’s brain.

If there’s a weakness to the production, it’s dealing with the 14 different scenes. Since they take place over a period of time, Rita must be continually changing costumes, and having Frank walk back and forth through the audience at the end of each scene is a bit distracting. This is where Theatre 5’s intimate stage, which has no back stage, is a weakness.

Still this is a production that deserves to fill this tiny theatre every night.

– – –

Educating Rita

A play by by Willy Russell

Director: Valerie Robertson

Set design: Steve Furster

A Theatre 5 production playing until Dec. 11 at the Baiden Street Theatre, 57 Baiden St. With performances from Thursday to Saturday at 8 p.m.


Rita White – Hannah Smith

Frank Bryant – G. Robert Bowes

Rating: * * * 1/2out of five