Rabbit tale takes the stage

NANAIMO - The tale of the Velveteen Rabbit comes to life as part of TheatreOne's Just Kidding series Saturday (March 23).

Kathryn Popham

Kathryn Popham

A velveteen rabbit that is at first snubbed for newer and shinier toys eventually becomes a favourite companion for a child.

Through love and devotion to the small boy, the toy eventually transforms with the help of the Nursery Magic Fairy.

Kathryn Popham, a performing artist with Erewhon Theatre, is bringing the story to life with the help of 10 children as part of TheatreOne’s Just Kidding Series this Saturday (March 23) at 1 p.m. at Vancouver Island University’s Malaspina Theatre.

Popham said the tale appeals to children and adults alike and the work is meant to be read aloud.

“It’s unusual to have such a sophisticated story (for a children’s book),” she said.

The Velveteen Rabbit was written by Margery Williams.

The 10 children will play the parts of the nursery toys. They will learn and rehearse their roles about half an hour before the performance.

The children’s participation is meant to help them access their imaginations and creativity in a positive environment.

Popham said children are wonderful to work with because they listen to the instructions carefully and she finds as long as they perform shortly after learning their lines they retain the information.

“Kids are just fine with all of those things. They come to it naturally,” said Popham. “A lot of the fear and inhibitions come later when people grow up.”

The remaining characters are played by Popham who uses an assortment of masks and puppets to create the story.

Popham said while she wants people to laugh and be entertained she also wants people to be drawn into the story and really listen to the tale.

“It’s great for all ages – adults will like it too,” she said about the performance.

Tickets are two for $14 and are available by calling 250-754-7587 or online at www.theatreone.org.