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Ham Sandwich show debuts this weekend, troupe's first performance in 20 months

Flin Flon’s most active drama troupe will hit the stage this weekend for the first time since before the pandemic began.
A theatre curtain hangs pre-show.

Flin Flon’s most active drama troupe will hit the stage this weekend for the first time since before the pandemic began.

Ham Sandwich will premiere their last show, a production of playwright David Lindsay-Abaire’s “Ripcord”, this week at the R.H. Channing Auditorium. The cast has rehearsed steadily for weeks and the production’s set, costumes and makeup are almost ready for the big opening.

“It's going really well. We have a really good crew that is getting the sets together. It's a cast of only six people. We've been rehearsing, generally three times a week. It's coming together, we’ve got our costumes ready and makeup people lined up,” said director Beth Heine.

This show features a small cast, with only six actors - Diane Therien and Leslie Fernandes play the leads, with Tom Heine, Cheryl Feszczyn, Alain Lachapelle and Tristan Barteski all playing supporting roles and the four supporting actors all playing multiple parts.

The production is set at the Bristol Place Assisted Living Facility, where the curmudgeonly Abby has to share her room with newcomer Marilyn. Both women make a wager with each other that has long-lasting consequences, leading through the events of much of the show, described by its publisher as a “glorious and biting new comedy” with elements of absurdity.

“I think they [the roles] have been very well cast. I think both our leads have enjoyed fitting into those roles,” said Heine.

The troupe has been off the stage since its production of the show Shock Corridor in March 2020, held not long before widespread COVID-19 transmission led to restrictions on group sizes and public gatherings.

“Since then, we haven’t done any shows. With this one, we’ve picked a smaller cast and a cast without any children,” Heine said.

The performers will hit the stage for a pair of shows at the R.H. Channing Auditorium, holding the play Nov. 19-20. Manitoba health orders, including those regarding vaccination, will apply - all attendees must either be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or must supply proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test. The show also uses some adult language.

Heine says attendees planning to come to the show should prepare to both laugh and think while enjoying the show.

“It’s mostly a comedy, but there are some serious moments in it. It looks a lot at different kinds of relationships, within families and between people that maybe aren’t family but who still have connections,” she said.

“There are some dramatic moments.”

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