A new take on a classic story is coming to Hay River.

Robinson Crusoe + Friday – a performance by the Axis Theatre of Vancouver – will be appearing in Hay River on Jan. 21 as part of the Children’s Festival of Silliness from the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre. In this photo from 2016, Sara Roa, left, plays Friday, while William Hopkins is Robinson Crusoe. photo courtesy of Northern Arts and Cultural Centre/Photo by Jessica Oostergo

Robinson Crusoe + Friday will visit for the Children’s Festival of Silliness from the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre (NACC) in Yellowknife on Jan. 21.

Adapted from Daniel Defoe’s castaway novel from 1719 by Vancouver-based Axis Theatre, the imaginative retelling emphasizes communication, culture and empathy.

Marie Coderre, the executive director and artistic director of NACC, said Axis Theatre is a well-known and respected company.

“They present really strong work for the young audiences,” she said. “So I think the kids are in for a real treat.”

Coderre also thinks it’s a great show for the whole family, including older people who may remember seeing versions of the Robinson Crusoe tale on television.

“And the younger ones will have a lot to learn about this character who tried to survive on an island alone for 25 years,” she said.

The story of Robinson Crusoe is about an English sailor shipwrecked on a remote island and struggling against all odds to survive. One day, he rescues a stranger from cannibals and the two develop a remarkable friendship.

Coderre noted that Axis Theatre performed Hamelin: A New Fable during the Children’s Festival of Silliness in Yellowknife last year.

“And I loved their production so much that they are coming back this year with another show,” she said.

Coderre said NACC is very pleased to present Robinson Crusoe + Friday at Riverview Cineplex for a 2 p.m. performance on Jan. 21.

After Hay River, Robinson Crusoe + Friday will be seen in Fort Simpson and Yellowknife.

The Children’s Festival of Silliness from NACC was last in Hay River two years ago.

Paul Bickford

Paul Bickford is the reporter for Hay River Hub.

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