The Gravesavers: Magical Theatre for Young and Old.
I try really hard not pre-judge shows, but I had read Sheree Fitch’s YA novel The Gravesavers, and it seemed to me that the new theatre company, Halifax Theatre for Young People, was being overly ambitious in mounting it. It just didn’t seem possible that a play could convey the time shifts between 1873 and present-day in an easily understandable way, or that it would be able to capture Fitch’s lip-slippery language and offbeat characters.
Spooky, Spunky and Smart: There’s Nothing Dead About These Gravesavers!
Growing up in Halifax it was a rite of passage to have this poem by Sheree Fitch imprinted on your heart. Indeed, Sheree Fitch was as much a part of a complete childhood as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, Sesame Street and sleepovers. It seems quite appropriate then that Halifax’s newest theatre company, Halifax Theatre for Young People, should choose another Sheree Fitch classic, the novel The Gravesavers, as the basis for its first play.
The Gravesavers Well-Told, Well-Made
The Gravesavers leaves you with a shiver. Halifax Theatre for Young People’s first production is an intense, 90-minute journey into a present-day teenager’s distress and into the 18th century shipwreck of the S.S. Atlantic not far from Halifax. Adapted by Chris Heide from Sheree Fitch’s novel for young adults, the play crackles with poetic and insightful writing, credibility in its young characters and an affecting, spooky atmosphere of time past and present. There are lost souls here and the play’s overall message is one of forgiveness and remembrance.