The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

* This post may contain some spoilers for the story plot of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

“The theatre, the theatre, what’s happened to the theatre?” So asks Danny Kaye in the 1954 film, White Christmas. Thankfully today I do not feel inclined to repeat his question, as The Manitoba Theatre Centre’s adaption of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance was spot on.

Paul Essiembre and David Coomber in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Photo by Dylan Hewlett (x)

The entire play took place on one set, Hallie Jackson’s saloon which I thought was an interesting choice. Having once set gave them the opportunity to put more detail into it, it could be more permanent obviously and larger, allowing for a functioning second floor etc. Smaller sets often need to be moved quickly during scene changes or intermission which does cause them to lose detail. They are less “real”.

One set, however, meant that every scene took place inside the saloon. This meant there were a number of scenes that were not explicitly shown, but rather implied or talked about after the fact. I do not think that having one set took away from the play in anyway. Some scenes had to move indoors but it still flowed well and the set was very well done.

The actors were experienced and talented, David W. Keeley and Paul Essiembre especially stood out from the rest of the cast. Keeley, who played gunslinger Burt Barricune, made you feel for Burt as he eventually admitted to his feelings for Hallie and came to realize they were not to be. Essiembre on the other hand made your skin crawl with his calm almost gentlemanly personna as the villain, Liberty Valance. He didn’t allow anyone to get a rise out of him but he had a confident, threatening presence; you instinctively knew he was not to be trifled with.

The play was unlike any other I have seen, up to this point I have mostly been to see either adaptions of classic stories or comedies so a Western was quite a different story. It was intense, but it was very good and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

If you’d like a three minute summary of the story, here is the song Liberty Valance by Gene Pitney which tells the tale!


Yoga, Blocking, and Making Music

Today in rehearsal for the play (school thing) we did some yoga stretches to warm up.

So remember that time I went skating twice in one weekend? Sore. Very sore. Yoga was not as relaxing as it was cut out to be.

However we did get to block the scene that involves me getting dipped so that was fun. Haven’t been dipped before, had to be “taught” how to be dipped (basically, balance on your heels to make the pivot easier and keep your body straight as though you’re planking, trust your partner to hold you). This play is going to be great, so much over-drama, I love it =D

I’ve never seen White Christmas (I know, I’m horrible) but this scene, especially the first minute, should give you a good idea of the over dramamtic levels we’re aiming for:


Very overdramatic.

Then I came home and had lots of homework to do and decided to practicve guitar and piano for like an hour each instead of doing it so that was fun. I hadn’t practiced in a while but I’ve been fiddling whenever I find a guitar or piano lately and I think I’m kinda getting back into making music. It’s a good time, very relaxing (unlike YOGA, sheesh… ;P)

Tomorrow I’ll dislike past me for not doing homework before the full work day, but for now, I’m pretty happy 😉

Last day in Bethlehem, “Live” from the Inn – VEDDEC 14

Bethlehem Live is put on by my church in Winnipeg (Gateway Church: 851 Panet Rd) and this is our ninth year putting on this amazing, interactive, live nativity!

Check out our facebook page for more info and pictures:

My “Actorless” Tour of Bethlehem video from 2013: