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OTA hosts ‘The Thwarting of Baron Bolligrew’

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by MATTHEW NASH
Sequim Gazette


The cast and crew for the Olympic Theatre Arts’ production of “The Thwarting of Baron Bolligrew” agree most on one thing — their play is loads of fun.
 

“The whole thing is fun with a lot of laughter throughout,” director Tracy Williams said.
 

The all-ages production centers on unlikely knight Sir Oblong Fitzoblong, played by Dave McInnes. His duke and fellow knights grow tired of him after slaying the dragons in their land, so they send him to Bolligrew Islands to face the most ferocious dragon known to man. During his journey, Oblong encounters Moloch the magician, weird creatures, Blackheart the evil knight, and most dastardly of them all — Baron Bolligrew the evil ruler of Bolligrew Islands.


Williams said there are big surprises in store for the audience during their run from Nov. 23-Dec 12.


“We’ve got special effects with some magic spells, a wand and of course the dragon,” she said.


One highlight she said is Ron Graham, who plays Percival Smoothely-Smoothe, choreographing the sword fighting. Graham was a professional stage stuntman for eight years and choreographed fights for “Othello,” “Peter Pan” and “Oklahoma.”

Graham said one sword fight between Sir Oblong and Squire Blackheart, played by Jared Stewart, presents a challenge because it’s broken into two sequences.

“Most of it is just choreographing every swing and step,” he said. “The hard part is making it look like it’s not choreographed.”


Range of an actor
Williams, a sixth-grade teacher at Sequim Middle School, said her cast of 17 includes several children and young adults ages 9-19 along with veteran actors; many who double-up on parts.

She’s been pleased with the high level of performances, especially with the younger actors. Williams pointed out Damon Little, 9, who plays a magpie, as a highlight.

“He’s a brilliant little actor,” Williams said.

At the casting call, she asked for 12 and older but Little won Williams over with his abilities.

Little said this is his first production for Olympic Theatre Arts, but he’s acted in four Missoula Children’s Theater productions and been to two drama camps and two years of drama club. His favorite part of acting is getting to pretend to be someone else.

McInnes said playing Sir Oblong continues his niche since beginning to act for OTA since 1999.

“Acting has always been in my blood,” McInnes said. “I got started with lights and props here, and have acted since junior high.”

He’s performed in other Sequim children’s productions through the theater and enjoys them all.
“There’s always a fun energy,” McInnes said.


Bolt of lightning
Robert Bolt, author of “A Man For All Seasons” and screenplays of “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Dr. Zhivago” wrote “Baron Bolligrew.”

Williams said Bolt’s play is one of his lesser-known works but that doesn’t make it any less great.

“It’s pure entertainment with a moral tale of doing the right thing mixed in,” Williams said.

This is the fifth time Williams has directed an OTA production and the first time “Baron Bolligrew” has been performed at Olympic Theatre Arts, 414 N. Sequim Ave., Sequim. For more information, call 683-7326 or visit www.olympictheatrearts.org.


Reach Matthew Nash at mnash@sequimgazette.com.



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