Theatre review of Alberta Theatre Projects' Legend Has It; November 24 - December 31, 2015 at the Martha Cohen Theatre, Arts Commons in Calgary, AB.

Legend Has It is a delightful family-friendly adventure  

Heroic adventures in improv theatre makes for an fun trip to the land of the Mumplings. 

Festive entertainment is in full swing and if you’re looking for a little laughter and fun for the whole family, Alberta Theatre Projects’ (ATP) holiday show, Legend Has It, is an excellent choice.

This production, which consists largely of improvisation, is directed and stars the unbelievably talented Rebecca Northan. One of the things that makes this play so unique is that the hero of the show is chosen from the audience. The choices made by the hero conjures up a completely different story each time. On opening night, the hero of the play was a gentleman named Phil, who graciously accepted his appointed position to the delight of his wife and two kids in the audience.

Once an audience member has been brought onstage and agrees to be the hero, they are asked to choose who they would like to accompany them on their adventure. The choice is always between Rebecca and her brother Jamie Northan. On opening night, Phil selected Rebecca. Phil was then faced with the decision of who he wanted to have as the show’s villain. Between Jamie and Christy Bruce, Phil chose Jamie.

The cast of Legend Has It. Photo courtesy of Kenneth Locke. 

With hero, companion and villain chosen, it was time to hit the road. Rebecca equipped Phil with a cape, which is of course, a very necessary accessory for any hero. Rebecca then presented Phil with a key that opened a magical door. Where did the door lead? The land of the Mumplings of course!

In this whimsical world, the Mumplings were being hunted by the evil Lord Haldor (Jamie Northan), who wished to kill them so he can rule the land. But now that the brave and heroic Phil had arrived, the Mumplings gained a hopeful chance and the audience eagerly watched as Phil strategized, sword fought and battled his way to Mumpling justice.

The entire creative team in this delightful play is extraordinary talented. All the performers in the cast, including the Northan siblings, Josh Bertwistle, Christy Bruce, Ellis Lalonde and Bruce Horak are brilliant at improvisation and it was great to watch them in action.

The creative team have prepared a number of different characters, storylines, props and music selections and are ready to pull any of these pieces out at the drop of a hat to coincide with whatever direction the hero drives the play in. Scott Reid’s lovely set and costume design creates a charming Mumpling kingdom and fits the show nicely.

Cast members perform ALONGSIDE their special guest star (far right).  Photo courtesy of Colleen De Neve (Calgary Herald).

Legend Has It is an entertaining show catered towards children. If you are a parent or would like to take your niece, nephew or little cousin/sibling out for an entertaining children’s theatre experience, Legend Has It is an excellent choice. Furthermore, the affordable price point of ATP tickets means many families who can’t quite afford to see higher priced holiday entertainment such as The Nutcracker or A Christmas Carol, won’t be left out.

Catch Legend Has It at the Martha Cohen Theatre until December 31. Maybe you’ll even find yourself in the show! Click here for ticket information.