Oak Bay actor develops Earthworm sensibilities

Kaleidoscope Theatre brings James and the Giant Peach at McPherson Playhouse Nov. 12 and 13

Oak Bay actor Jarod Crockett performs with Kaleidoscope theatre in James and the Giant Peach Nov. 12 and 13.

Oak Bay actor Jarod Crockett is cultivating his movements and tone to become the earthworm in the coming production of James and the Giant Peach. It’s not easy to be Earthworm.

“I haven’t quite gotten the hang of it yet,” admits the Canadian College of Performing Arts graduate. “I’m still trying to work out the physicality and the voice.”

Kaleidoscope Theatre presents Roald Dahl’s classic children’s story, directed by Roderick Glanville, Nov. 12 and 13.

“(Earthworm is) kind of a downer. Life’s hard for this guy … but of course it’s children’s theatre so everything’s heightened,” Crockett says. “It’s a really energetic, upbeat – Earthworm notwithstanding – show about overcoming obstacles and finding confidence in yourself, and that the designer and the creative team have brought the classic story to life in a very unique and exciting way, and on an impressive scale.”

When James is sent to live with his aunts he longs for a real family and discovers a magical peach inhabited by fantastical creatures. With Grasshopper, Ladybug, Centipede, Spider and Earthworm, James embarks on an extraordinary adventure.

A talented cast of seasoned actors – professional Vancouver-based Valerie Sing Turner, Victoria’s own Ingrid Moore, Jane Gaudet, Andrew Lynch, Sarah Murphey, Crockett and Daniel Yaxley as James – weave the tale.

Crockett worked with Glanville, also Kaleidoscope’s artistic director, in last season’s CCPA production of Great Expectations. “I love how open he is to suggestions and happy accidents,” he said.

“He has a great sense of humour and cultivates a really fun, relaxed rehearsal environment, and I think personally that when you are having a good time in the process of putting together a show, the ease and joy of that comes through to the final product, and the show is more fun to watch.”

Kaleidoscope aims to create original, innovative and relevant theatre experiences that stimulate and inspire young people.

“The scope of this production is really impressive,” Crockett said, even as the gigantic peach was still under construction.

The show provides a range of creative possibilities for Kaleidoscope’s seasoned design team, including original music, mask, puppets, shadow play, large scale set.

See James and the Giant Peach at McPherson Playhouse Nov. 12 and 13. Buy tickets at www.rmts.bc.ca or in person at the McPherson box office.