This holiday season, creating a new neighbourhood tradition is top of mind for Rob Torr and Stephanie Graham, the husband and wife team behind Torrent Productions.
The East End professional theatre company is bringing the magic of pantomime to the Royal Canadian Legion #001 at Coxwell and Gerrard with Robin Hood: A Merry Magical Pantomime, written by prolific panto playwright Caroline Smith.
The story is the classic tale of Robin Hood stirred with the sparkle of panto – rhymes, singsongs, cheek, larger-than-life personas. Torr, a professional actor and director, and Graham, a director and choreographer, fell in love with panto at a young age and are keen to share their love of the medium with the neighbourhood they have called home for over a decade.
Torr said some of his fondest memories are watching panto with his parents and grandparents at the national theatre year after year. Once, wide-eyed, he met the lead actor backstage. “You could still smell the greasepaint,” he said. “Tradition. That’s what I’m hoping we can do on a smaller scale – have the generations laugh together.”
The team chose the legion as its venue in part because of its history and tradition. To honour that, the 200-seat theatre will sing O Canada before every performance, with Torr noting the importance – and somewhat lost art – of communal singing.
The performance runs December 16 through December 27 with select evening and matinee performances. For a full schedule visit www.torrentproductions.com. Tickets for the performance are available in advance by calling 1-800-838-3006 or by visiting brownpapertickets.com. Tickets will also be available at the door.