The flight to paradise

If the enchantment is missing in your life, where do go to find it? Find out a the Studio Stage Door in Cranbrook Friday, April 12.

How to escape the death throes of the Edwardian era? Flight is the only answer. Charlotte Wilton (Tracy McGuire) gets set to confront her husband (Sean Swinwood) in Enchanted April

How to escape the death throes of the Edwardian era? Flight is the only answer. Charlotte Wilton (Tracy McGuire) gets set to confront her husband (Sean Swinwood) in Enchanted April

At the beginning of “Enchanted April,” Cranbrook Community Theatre’s current production opening tonight, Charlotte Wilton brings us news of the death throes of the Edwardian era.

The time period is several years after the bloodbath of the Great War, and the widespread killing of the ensuing influenza epidemic. But the play’s characters in grimy, bleak, dark, coal-sooted England, plagued with endless rain, have not yet accepted that their old world has been demolished. They are clinging fast to their comfortable morning jacket habits — their C. of E. religious conventions, their copies of the Times delivered promptly, their ossified literature, the precise determination of their day by the clock.

Only Lotty is aware that they are all existing in a shadowland, and that flight is the only answer. She will take as many companions as she can on her quest for paradise regained, but she understands that in a voyage of redemption like this, she cannot choose her own, they must be chosen for her by whatever providence remains.

But is Lotty hawk or is she hummingbird? Is she saviour or temptor? Her first encounter leads to the existential argument that will flow throughout the play — is heaven to be found outside, or is it grown inside oneself, which is the view of Rose Arnott (Jennifer Inglis).

Rose is heavily burdened with disappointment and with the decreasing comforts of church. Like Lotty, she is unhappy in her marriage — Frederick Arnott (Peter Schalk) is a successful novelist who doesn’t realize his work is already out of date and will soon be rendered obsolete by the angry voices of the Moderns. Mellersh Wilton, Lotty’s husband, seems untouched by the revolutions and despair of the previous years, and is dismayed by any variation to his petty bourgeois routine.

Lady Caroline Bramble (Michelle Lemay) is one who has tried to move on. She has embraced the trappings of the Jazz Age, the new era that has grown in like fireweed in place of the old. But even the Roaring Twenties can’t scar over the wound in her soul.

The fourth travelling companion is the insufferable Anglo-Saxon literary maven, Mrs. Clayton Graves (Nicola Kaufman), whose choolmistress persona and rigid adherence to the glories of empire make her the most unlikely companion to the other three. Can there be redemption even for her, in the paradise towards which Lotty is leading them? In other words, is heaven a place where healing happens? In other words again, is a vacation really good for what ails ya?

After a dark, stygian train ride through bleakest night, these four dissimilar women arrive at that fabled land they are seeking. Which is, of course, Italy — specifically a rented castle with a view of a sapphire sea and bathed by endless sunlight. The castle is owned by the elegant and affable Anthony Wilding (David Popoff) and staffed by the inimitable, daunting Signora Costanza (Andrea Grossman). The roar of Italy certainly banishes the grey haze of England, but can it banish the sadness from our Englishwomen’s hearts?

“Enchanted April,” a play written by Matthew Barber from the novel by Elizabeth Von Arnim, opens Friday, April 12,  at the Studio/Stage Door in Cranbrook, and will run every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday until April 27. It is directed by Terry Miller and produced by Sally Masters. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are available at Lotus Books.

Just Posted

Prince Charles Secondary School
School District 8 votes in favour of name change for Secondary School in Creston

In an act of reconciliation, a new name will be chosen for Prince Charles Secondary School

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison. Photo courtesy Conservative Party of Canada.
MP Morrison appointed to parliamentary national security committee

Kootenay-Columbia parliamentarian one of five candidates appointed to national security committee

Repaving of Victoria Ave (3rd St. S. to 11th St. S.) began on Monday, June 12. Drivers are asked to please avoid the area for the remainder of the day, if possible. Please watch for and obey directions from flaggers and signage, as the detours will be moving regularly. Photo courtesy City of Cranbrook.
Road construction, repaving programs well underway

Local road construction and repaving work continue apace, as summer programs get… Continue reading

Vendors and customers at one of the Cranbrook markets in 2020. (Corey Bullock/Cranbrook Townsman file)
Cranbrook Farmers Market updates operating hours for the summer

Markets will continue to run from 10a.m. to 1p.m. until October 30th

City council passed first reading of a text amendment to a downtown zoning bylaw that would permit the land use for a craft brewery. Photo courtesy City of Cranbrook.
Downtown zoning amendment allowing craft brewery passes first reading

An application is moving forward that will tweak a downtown zoning bylaw… Continue reading

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Most Read