The Mysterious Energy of Edwin Drood

I’m not prone to generalizations, but I don’t think it a stretch to say that everyone wonders at some point in their lives what other possibilities were out there, if they had gone down a different career path. What if I had gone into the sciences, instead? What if I had aimed to stay as a full-time staffer at that observatory? What if?

I will freely admit that I do wonder whether or not my own is the wisest course of action, whether my ambitious drive into the world of theatre is a quest worth pursuing, a goal worthy of fitting my whole life around. Whether I might be just as happy doing something else, somewhere else, for (assuredly) more money. More security. More regularity. Whether or not I should be proud of my current life of balancing part-time jobs in order to make just enough rent that I can spend all my weekends and evenings creating theatre and performing (typically without pay, no less!). After a stretch of working daytimes and rehearsing evenings, these thoughts can run through my head. I admit that.

The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1993 film)
Image via Wikipedia

That said, I flat out deny the notion of ‘if you can imagine yourself being content doing anything else, then DO THAT OTHER THING INSTEAD’ that gets floated about concerning all the arts (be they acting, writing, visual art, you name it). Hogwash. Of course I could find a decent modicum of happiness somewhere else. The world is great and vast, and there are so many excellent potentials out there, so many avenues to pursue, adventures to explore. Any man who could not find happiness in more than one pursuit is a man I pity. But I wager that there is nothing, absolutely nothing, like standing centre-stage and igniting two hundred people into laughter, compassionate silence, or enthusiastic jeers. Nowhere else makes me so completely and wholly grateful to be alive.

Do I act to be famous? No, but it’s nice to be recognized. Do I act for the continually renewed challenge of live theatre? Partly. I’ve found that when the challenge of a job disappears, so too does my interest, whereas live theatre is a new and different adventure every single night, because the conversation between actors and audience is different every night, even if the lines and choreography remain the same.

But no, the main reason I perform is because the act of sharing a story fills me with a delight unlike anything else on Earth.

Except perhaps the happy dance I do after a lady agrees to go on a date with me. Even there, theatre might win out.

Saturday night was opening night for The Mystery of Edwin Drood, a pseudo-pantomimish musical absolutely brimming with delightful energy. Big, bold, and British. Marvelous. And this show has instilled me, nay, possessed me, with a spirit of gratitude, from the moment we found our first preview audience. Since that first night, I have found myself treasuring my friends and family moreso than usual. I have repeatedly thanked God for all the opportunities in my life. I have found new ways to deeply enjoy my work. I have had a grin plastered on my face. I’ve had to suppress a strong urge to hug every friendly acquaintance I meet. I’ve needed less sleep. Heck, after opening night, and the opening night festivities, and post-festivities, I arrived home at 6am, and STILL had too much energy leftover to sleep for another couple of hours. I am vitalized, potent, present.

The lesson from all this? Life is a bigger, brighter wonderful when I have a stage and a story to share. It happens every show. Every project. And any time spent between performances, between opportunities, is a valley in comparison to this peak of exultant contentment.

And THAT’S why I’ve chosen a career in theatre. Not because I couldn’t possibly do anything else, but because, by gum, I have found nothing so irrationally fulfilling as this.

The Mystery of Edwin Drood plays at The Metro from now until March 3rd, with 8pm evening performances on the 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 25th, 29th, 1st, 2nd, and the 3rd, and a 3pm matinee performance on the 26th. Review at: . Tickets at:

Andrew Wade

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Reviews and Promos for A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum

First, some promos:


And now a few reviews on the show!

From the Georgia Straight:

“Confidence and playfulness: under Cathy Wilmot’s direction, the amateur cast of Fighting Chance Productions’ mounting of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is brimming with those qualities. And because the actors are having such a good time, the audience does too. “

The Vancouver Courier:

“The girls are gorgeous; the production values are, well, as Mooney quips during a song that refers to a curtain, “Well, it wasn’t in the budget so you’ll just have to imagine it.” It’s an amateur show, full of enthusiasm and budding talent.”

Review Vancouver:

“…it was obvious the entire company was having a great time performing – flipping, falling, dancing, gyrating, marching, thrusting, and singing their hearts out. The set was impressive, the costumes were a delight, and Dawn Ewen’s choreography was most enjoyable.”

Review From The House:

“From the opening notes of “Comedy  Tonight” the cast throw themselves into the farce with energy and enthusiasm.”

Being Emme:

” I say this performance is heartwarming because the way the cast looks right into the audience’s eyes as they perform this song, with big, warm smiles on their faces — their desire to entertain and make us laugh is so genuine, you can see that it comes from way under their makeup, makeshift ancient Roman wear and glittering false eyelashes.”


Over halfway through the run! See you at the theatre.

Andrew Wade

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