Beyond the everyday politics, 0ne question reigns true: who makes the law of the land?
Written by Peter Anderson and scored by John Millard, Law of the Land returns home to Caravan Farm Theatre July 24 to Aug. 26.
Originally produced and toured by Caravan in 1982, Law of the Land is set in a fictional B.C. town prior to the Black Creek Coal Fired Thermal Generating Power Plant’s grand opening. Set in a town where cowboys fall in love with environmentalists and animals put humans on trial, Law of the Land is an electrifying farce brought to the stage by the same team behind The Ballad of Weedy Peetstraw last summer.
“The Ballad of Weedy Peetstraw was more like a musical Faustian drama. This is a flat-out farce with unapologetic humour,” said artistic director Estelle Shook.
Delegates from Russia, China and the United States are in town to tour the plant and test their hunting mettle. While some are stoked on coal, others are more skeptical. Clara, a rancher next door brought to life by Randi Helmers of The Ballad of Weedy Peetstraw Hellhound fame, refuses to uproot despite her ranch hands having long abandoned her cause.
The local scientist Hattie (Elizabeth Barrett) is occupied with troublesome fluorine levels and Brenda (Naomi Vogt), the local cop, is working to unravel what she believes is a terrorist plot and local animals Beaver (Karin Ranodja), Cougar (Jimmy Tait) and deer (Elinor Holt) battle nervous breakdowns.
But, when the Lone Ranger and a wily Coyote (Anderson) with a plan enter the stage, the crisis unfolds.
Anderson said he considered remodelling Law of the Land for the modern era prior to reviving the show, but opted instead to set the production in the near future.
“The coal plant was so woven in that it wouldn’t have made sense,” Anderson said. “In a way, I’m really glad we stuck with that. It lifts the play out of the topical. It’s good to have distance.”
Given the current climate surrounding pipelines in British Columbia, Anderson and Shook agreed that Law of the Land is as relevant as it was in 1982.
“There has been such divisive debate. Each side, to them, has compelling arguments,” Shook said. “Everyone has an opinion. Everybody wants some energy but no one wants to pay. But who makes the law of the land?”’
Tickets are available through the Ticket Seller, 250-549-7469, www.ticketseller.ca. Tickets for preview nights July 24-25 are $20 adult, $18 seniors and $10 youth. 25 percent discount available for groups of six or more on July 27-29 and Aug. 1-3. Regular Aug. 4-26 are $35, $33 and $15 respectively. “Pay what you can nights” are July 31, Aug. 7, 14 and 21 and are no reservations, first-come-first-served. Bring blankets or cushions for the bleacher seats. Tailgate picnics encouraged.