Young D’Artagnan leaves his home of Gascony, France, in search of adventure, with his tomboy sister Sabine in tow.
Soon he encounters the three most famous
musketeers Athos, Porthos and Aramis. This confrontation sets D’Artagnan on a treacherous path against the most dangerous man in France — Cardinal Richelieu.
The young man’s tale comes to life on stage this October during the Nanaimo Theatre Group’s production of The Three Musketeers.
“It’s a very light story in a lot of ways even though it is about life and death and betrayal and love,” said Dave Bigelow, co-director of the production. “It is very much a comedy with heavy moments thrown in.”
Shannon Reimer, co-director, and Bigelow tried to strike a balance between the two aspects.
One of the biggest challenges was the physicality of the play.
“People are getting punched and kneed and bitten,” said Bigelow.
The sword fights were also demanding, in one scene there are nine actors brawling.
Acting experience among the performers varies greatly from seasoned veterans to some making their stage debut.
Chloe Scott, who is Constance, is taking the stage for the first time.
Bigelow said she was originally cast in some small walk-on parts but they needed someone to play Constance and she was chosen. She started out shy, but Bigelow has seen tremendous growth and a change in her stage presence.
“She brings this great energy to the stage,” he said.
James Dean plays the lead character D’Artagnan. Previously he appeared in Alice in Pantoland and Aladdin and the Foreigner, also Nanaimo Theatre Group productions. This Christmas he appears in the group’s production The Emperor’s New Clothes.
“He is really a wonderful young actor,” said Bigelow. “He is really committed to the role.”
Bigelow has been involved in all aspects of theatre, including as an actor, backstage volunteer and in the prop department, but this is his first time directing.
He gave the actors free rein to try out things on stage and see their physicality and what they brought to the characters. Then he worked with them to help refine the actors’ movements and speech patterns.
The play is going to appeal to adults, teenagers and children, said Bigelow.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” he said. “It’s a family-friendly show.”
The evening performances are Oct. 21-24 and Oct. 28-31 at 8 p.m. There will be a 2 p.m. matinee Oct. 25.
All shows are at the Bailey Studio, 2373 Rosstown Rd. Tickets range from $18 to $20 and are available by calling 250-758-7224 or online at www.nanaimotheatregroup.ca.