DECEMBER 19,  2019, 7 - 9 pm at the ANVIL CENTRE
Charles Dickens' A CHRISTMAS CAROL

Our free, audience-inclusive, family-friendly, and joyfully interactive reading of the classic Christmas ghost story--lead by veteran actor-musician Dave Clothier as “Scrooge”--was a hit in 2018 at the Anvil Centre, and returned again in 2019 with (jingle) bells on. This year, violinist Cindy Kao joined Clothier as a featured artist, providing live accompaniment. Audience members read supporting roles, threw 'snowballs', joined the Christmas sing-along, donned Dickensian costume pieces--or just sat back and enjoyed the fun!  "Smoking Bishop", a warmly spiced wine loved by Dickens, was the featured 'sip', with free cocoa and goodies for kids. 

Right: Dave Clothier returns as "Scrooge" Dec. 19 at the Anvil. 

Our sold-out 2019 
Censored! Forbidden Classics of the Wicked Stage 
reading series looked at 3 banned classics spanning 2300 years of history, all addressing still-controversial themes of women's sexual and financial agency. At "Sips 'n Scripts", audiences can sit back and enjoy the readings, with specialty 'sips' from the Anvil cash bar--or participate more actively by reading supporting roles with City Stage New West's rehearsed professional actors, or adding sound effects, or taking part in intermission activities. Post-reading talk-backs with experts and artists discuss the plays, their impact, and their censorship. A fun, provocative night out!  

Read about the impetus for the series in The RecordMore details on

Audiences loved our Censored! Forbidden Classics readings and events this year (2019):

MRS. WARREN'S PROFESSION, by George Bernard Shaw, was performed October 11 at the Anvil Centre. Directed by Marisa Emma Smith, this reading reunited most of Alley Theatre 's stellar 2014 cast: Linda Quibell* (Mrs. Warren), Melissa Oei*Tom Pickett*, Eric Keenleyside*, and Daniel Arnold*, with Patrick Sabongui.* *Participation of these Artists arranged by permission of Canadian Actors' Equity Association under provision of the Dance Opera Theatre Policy (DOT).
A daughter, learning that her estranged, wealthy mother funded her privileged education through prostitution, is thrown into crisis. Banned for 33 years, Shaw's sharp-witted indictment of capitalist Victorian society's moral hypocrisy remains remarkably fresh. More than a Shavian Mama, Mia! 

"Mrs. Warren's Poll" results: Of the audience polled, 3 times as many women as men considered both Mrs. Warren and her daughter, Vivie, to be heroines of the play, versus one character over the other; no one believed, as Shaw's critics had, that the playwright advocated prostitution; and men and women differed distinctly as to whether they "liked" the plays' ending (women: yes, men: no). Interesting!
Most of the original cast of Alley Theatre's 2014 Mrs. Warren's Profession returned for Sips 'n Scripts this October.
Left to right: Daniel Arnold, Melissa Oei, Tom Pickett, Linda Quibell, Eric Keenleyside, Rick Tae. 
Shameless, sharp, and shocking GEORGE BERNARD SHAW (actor Simon Webb) made a special guest appearance at the Anvil to defend his censored play MRS. WARREN'S PROFESSION, (see above) at Culture Forward New West September 28, assisted by Edwardian theatre icon, Mrs. Patrick Campbell (Renée Bucciarelli) . 

Mae West's SEX, performed June 14, 2019 at the Anvil Centre, featured Nicola Whitney-Griffiths as "Margy Lamont", the role Mae West wrote for herself. An unapologetic conflagration of lust and wit, SEX was a smash hit on Broadway, but landed West in jail for obscenity and corruption. West's legendary, controversial career went on to push boundaries of feminism, race, and gender. An ad for the 1927 show warned, "If you cannot stand excitement, see your doctor before visiting Mae West." Featured sip: the Mae West Martini. Also with: Michael McIntyre, Callyn Dorval, Donny Lucas, Kris Kuruneri, Dave Clothier, Howard Dai, Melanie Germain, Jeff Cooper, and Zach Wolfman.          
Our comfy Sips 'n Scripts 'living room' setting at the Anvil Centre

Actors Simon Webb, Morgan Montgomery, Howard Dai, Viktor Barkar, Michael McIntyre, Marc Anthony Williams lead the Greek men's chorus of audience members in LYSISTRATA, actor Jolene Bernardino far right.
Bailey Soleil Creed
Aristophanes' LYSISTRATA  was performed April 26, 2019 at the Anvil CentreLysistrata was too hot for the Greeks in 411 B.C.! In this script, Greek and Spartan women join forces to drive their warring men wild by enacting a universal sex strike to end the war. Banned in America until the 1930's, it inspired a world-wide anti-war protest in 2003, and, more recently, Spike Lee's film CHI-RAQ. This free event featured multi-talented actor Bailey Soleil Creed as "Lysistrata", along with some of Creed's original spoken-word poetry. Also with actors listed above, plus Nancy Ebert, Jenna Sokalski, Nicola Whitney-Griffiths, Hilary Hin-Leung. The featured "sip" was Ouzo, a Greek liqueur.

The Censored! Forbidden Classics  reading series was made possible by a generous grant from the City of New Westminster and support from the Anvil Centre.  


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