As winter carries on, theatre lovers will have the opportunity to warm their cold bodies with laughter in a brand new black box theatre when long time Yukon Arts mainstay Katherine McCallum unveils her new production company Larrikin Entertainment with the black comedy Often I find Myself Naked by Australian playwright Fiona Sprott.
McCallum, a producer, professional actor, and former artistic director for the Guild Society, created Larrikin Entertainment to provide a rich tapestry of theatre and education in the territory.
“Larrikin is by and large a professional theatre company, for now the main focus is providing theatre goers with great entertainment and Yukon theatre practitioners with some work,” McCallum says. “I’d also love to present masterclass workshops with mentors from faraway lands. I really love the idea of Yukon theatre practitioners having the opportunity to learn from professionals from diverse cultural hubs.”
McCallum and her board of directors set out to find a proper venue that would suit the needs of the show; it wasn’t until they met with Leaping Feats Creative Dance Works owner Andrea Simpson Fowler that they found everything they needed at the Rendezvous Plaza squash courts at 38 Lewes Blvd.
“Andrea had wanted to create a performance space down there, and we came along and said we’d do it,” McCallum says. “The space had almost everything it needed, and what it didn’t have, we’ve been able to create, it’s all been very serendipitous.”
With a lot of elbow grease and hard work from friends and organizations “The Courts” theatre space was born.
“It’s been a truly inspiring experience; Whitehorse has completely rallied for this one,” said McCallum.
Larrikin is presenting their first production, Often I find Myself Naked, at The Courts with opening night on Jan. 21. It follows the hilarious misadventures of Jezebel as she “navigates the treacherous waters of the single scene in a vast array of devastatingly bizarre encounters with a seemingly endless stream of male suitors.”
To direct this fast paced comedy McCallum brought in actor/director/teacher Eva Hamburg from Adelaide, Australia.
Hamburg is no stranger to the Yukon arts scene having directed The Guild Society’s 2011 production of God of Carnage and helped co-produce The Yukon Gold Comics with their tour at the Adelaide Fringe Festival.
“I am very excited about this production, to be working again alongside the ever spirited Katherine McCallum and her new venture Larrikin Entertainment, which has all the hallmarks of a successful theatre company,” Hamburg says. “Katherine has some of the best talent in the North working on this project.”
Hamburg also has a unique perspective on the show having worked alongside playwright Fiona Sprott, co-producing and directing the first production of Often I find Myself Naked in 1988.
Though the script has to be adjusted to suit the times, the heart of the play and the search for true love still resonate today.
“I believe most theatre should be immediate, current, familiar to its local audience and highly entertaining,” Hamburg says. “I anticipate that, like wine, it has matured, is more complex and refined, and like a great wine, it will certainly loosen you up for a good laugh.”
Often I find I am Naked stars Katherine McCallum, Doug Mayer, and Jeremiah Kitchen. It runs Tuesday through Saturday, Jan. 21 to Feb. 20. For more information check out the Larrikin Entertainment Facebook page.