Looking for Your McMurray Magazine? We've created something even bigger and here to check it out!

Looking for our original content? Welcome back to our original site!

Arts & Culture(Archives)


Behind The Curtain at Keyano Theatre

(1 Vote)

It’s that time of year again when Keyano Theatre’s season begins. “‘Excellent!’ I cried.  ‘Elementary,’ said he.”…‘He’ being Sherlock Holmes! To kickoff this year’s 4-Play Drama Series Keyano Theatre is excited to present Vancouver-based ACEproductions unique take on the classic crime tale of Sherlock Holmes – Holmes & Watson Save the Empire!

Established in 2003 by co-founders Damon Calderwood and Gordon Roberts, ACEproductions was formed to produce small, touring musicals for Western Canadian audiences. Calderwood and Roberts, who also star in many of the touring shows, have an impressive 70 plus years combined in show biz making them the perfect team to create such a remarkable theatre company.

“We realized that there was a crying need for smaller touring musicals and plays in BC and across Canada,” said Roberts when asked why the duo wanted to pursue this venture. “Many venues are simply too small to hire the larger touring shows.” Pursuing their dream of becoming a not-for-profit society, they hope to be more accessible for all performance venues across the country.    

This October’s performance will mark the second time ACEproductions has toured to Fort McMurray. First here in 2009, they presented the popular and iconic Canadian play Billy Bishop Goes To War – a culturally significant drama that moved local audiences with its touching historic tale of World War I fighter pilot Billy Bishop. However, at this year’s show don’t expect the deep thought provoking story of 2009; be ready for laughs, music and fun!

Originally a two-man show, Holmes & Watson Save the Empire! was re-written specifically for the ACEproductions team. The writers, Malcolm Beaugartner and Jahnna Beecham, adapted the script and music for a four person cast and they have been touring ever since.  What makes this adaptation special is “the relationship between the two characters has stood the test of time. Much has been written about that relationship but the most important point, I think, is its enduring quality. In spite of its ‘ups and downs’ and various influences bent on tearing it apart, their friendship remains,” said Roberts.

Holmes & Waston Save the Empire!, will transport you across the pond to Britain, where Sherlock Holmes and his trusty sidekick, Doctor Watson, take on the criminal mastermind Professor Moriarty in this family-friendly, comedy-musical-mystery.

Following Holmes & Watson Save the Empire! and continuing the musical theme of this season’s 4-Play lineup is The Other Side of the Pole.  Directed by local artist Michelle Thorne, this family Christmas musical runs November 25 to December 3, 2016.

Shake off the winter blahs and kick off your shoes when Footloose takes over the Keyano Theatre in February.  Closing out the 4–Play Drama Series season is Spoon River Anthology; a hauntingly beautiful composition of stories told by past residents of Spoon River through the poetry of the legendary Edgar Lee Masters. For more information about the 4-Play Drama Series and all shows at the Keyano Theatre & Arts Centre visit


Photos: Damon Calderwood and Gordon Roberts, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, in Holmes & Watson Save the Empire!