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Sidney musical theatre to make history with ANASTASIA at Victoria’s Royal Theatre Anastasia

Show originally scheduled for Mary Winspear Centre gets ‘bumbed’ to larger, Broadway-sized stage
Sophie Burns stars as Anya in the Mountain Dream Production of Anastasia playing at Victoria’s Royal Theatre June 18 (7 p.m.) and June 19 (2:00 p.m.) instead of Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre. (Courtesy of Mountain Dream Production)

A scheduling issue will allow a Sidney-based musical theatre company for children aged seven and up to make some history.

Mountain Dream Production will stage its version of the Anastasia at the Victoria’s Royal Theatre June 18 (7 p.m.) and June 19 (2 p.m.) instead of Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre.

Rob Forbes, managing director and producer, said the upcoming shows at the historic downtown Victoria theatre will be the first ever since he and artistic director Margaret Watt began their involvement with the company some 15 years ago.

Forbes said the change in venue will add further inspiration to the performance of the cast.

“I think they are going to be so excited to be standing on that stage and perform,” he said. “I think that excitement will translate into an incredible dynamic performance by all of them.”

The change in venue offers several advantages for both audiences and performers. For one, the larger stage will show off the performance better, and the performers will be using microphones, improving the sound.

“It truly is the perfect venue for this spectacular show,” added Forbes. “It’s definitely a costume epic.”

RELATED: Bright lights of Broadway beckon for seven Sidney students

Sophie Burns stars as the lead in the story, which dramatizes the legend of Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov, the youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II, the last Russian Czar.

Revolutionary Bolsheviks under the leadership of Vladimir Lenin shot him, his wife and their children, along with members of the royal court on July 16-17, 1918 following the aftermath of the October Revolution in 1917 and the early stages of the Russian civil war that followed.

While DNA testing nearly a century after their execution confirmed the identity of the remains, deliberate Bolshevik disinformation in the aftermath sparked rumours of survivors with several women making such claims.

The various conspiracies, characters and political calculations swirling around the historical figure and her subsequent imposters have sparked countless artistic treatments mere years after the child’s death, from Broadway plays to motion pictures, the most famous one starring Yul Brynner and Ingrid Bergman released in 1956 and most recently, an animated film by Disney released in 1997.

Tickets are available at the Royal Theatre box office 250.386.6121 or online at


Wolf Depner

About the Author: Wolf Depner

I joined the national team with Black Press Media in 2023 from the Peninsula News Review, where I had reported on Vancouver Island's Saanich Peninsula since 2019.
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