TORONTO—Everybody’s favourite Christmas ham, Ross Petty, has returned with his latest holiday send-up. This year promises to be one to remember with a roster of hapless actors and cross-dressing facial contortionists presenting A Christmas Carol.
The production features the usual cast: a familiar story, a zany sidekick and the terrifying face of Dan Chameroy as his alter ego Plumbum. Oh, and a token beautiful young woman representing sanity and normalcy amidst the buffoonery.
“We are very excited to have yet another Ross Petty production at Elgin Theatre,” said Eglin creative director Susan Ingles. “Ross’s shows are just so lively and fun—like only an English panto can be!”
The annual shows, dubbed “Fractured Fairy Tale Musicals”, have been at the Elgin since 1996. For those unfamiliar with panto, it stands for pantomime. If you’re still baffled, seeing the show won’t make the genre any clearer, but imagine if a gaggle of drunken grade eight girls wrote a fairy tale and cast one of their fathers as the female lead.
“It’s been 22 years of fun,” said Ingles. “A well-established tradition of silliness and mayhem and the bastardizaton of stories we all know and used to love.”
Although Mr. Petty had planned to make a surprise return to the stage in this production, he’ll remain behind the scenes. “I’m afraid there was a little accident,” explained Ingles. “Ross was trying out a new villain character and came up behind me backstage. With that wild wig and exaggerated make-up, he gave me quite a start! I lashed out, repeatedly, with my clipboard.” Although Petty had hoped to make the best of a bad situation, his character the Ghost of Christmas Beating wasn’t a good fit for the show.