Centuries before Gilligan, the skipper, and the rest of that motley crew found themselves shipwrecked on an island on what was supposed to be a three-hour tour, or when Tom Hanks was stranded with only a volleyball named Wilson for companionship, there was Robinson Crusoe.
The story of an English sailor shipwrecked on a remote island, Daniel Defoe’s 1719 novel was believed by many readers to be a true story.
It followed Crusoe, a castaway who lived 28 years all alone, or so he thought, on an uninhabited island near Trinidad.
The adventure continued as Crusoe encountered cannibals, captives, mutineers and a man named Friday before being rescued.
The story will soon be retold via a physical theatre production, complete with puppets, when Axis Theatre Company presents Robinson Crusoe at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre Oct. 16 as the first of three performances in the PAC society’s 2016-17 TD Kids Series.
“Robinson Crusoe embraces friendship, empathy, self-esteem, communication and cultural differences,” said Axis’ artistic director Wayne Specht, who also directs the production. “Axis is thrilled to bring our re-imagined version of this award-winning production to B.C. for the 2016-2017 season.”
Like the famed book, the titular hero works against all odds to turn his unforgiving refuge into a home. When Crusoe saves an islander from danger, the two strangers develop a remarkable friendship.
However, in Axis’ adaptation, their relationship is awash with comedic mishaps.
The play has already toured across Canada, to the U.S., Singapore and Malaysia, and also has some North Okanagan connections.
Colin Heath, who has acted in and written shows for Caravan Farm Theatre, adapted the script, with Michael Wolksi, from Defoe’s novel and wrote the music with Calvin Cairns. (Heath is also one of the original creators of Axis Theatre’s The Number 14, which had three sold-out runs in Vernon).
Also helping to create the puppets for the show is puppeteer Zompopo Flores, who has worked on numerous productions for Grindrod-Enderby’s Runaway Moon Theatre.
Robinson Crusoe takes the stage at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre Oct. 16 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 each for all ages. Call the Ticket Seller at 250-549-SHOW (7469) or log online to www.ticketseller.ca for tickets and more information.