Reginald Pillay has been involved in community theatre for more than ten years. Submitted photo

‘The show must go on’ comes into play for Langley community theatre group

Reginald Pillay had a role in Half Life until getting into a car accident before opening night.

The old show business phrase “the show must go on” was put into action for the Langley Players Drama Club the last couple weeks, as one of their members had to adapt his role three times due to a turn of events including a serious car accident.

With just weeks before the show starts, Reginald Pillay–who is new to Langley, but not new to community theatre– has gone from assistant stage manager, to on-stage character, to backstage assistant and audience member in the upcoming production of John Mighton’s Half Life.

“The show takes place in a care facility for the elderly. Clara meets Patrick, a new resident, and they fall in love. They may have met before it is uncertain. Difficulty ensues as their relationship is scrutinized by their children,” explained Pillay, who moved from Surrey to Langley in November.

Originally Pillay was set to be the assistant stage manager, but was asked to take over the role of Angus last-minute.

After stepping into the role of Angus, who Pillay described as “an old man who on the surface is a cute curmudgeon but deep down is quite vulnerable,” Pillay had to learn brand new lines in a matter of weeks before the show’s opening date on Jan. 17.

He wasn’t phased though, and said the new role was “doable.”

“It’ll be a challenge taking on a role with only weeks before we open. There’s little time to learn lines and build a character but it’s doable.”

But soon after rehearsing his new role, Pillay got into a car accident and had to step down from his role of Angus in order to recover.

“On Jan. 4th, I lost control of my car on a highway and veered off into a ditch. I was told by first responders that I travelled about 20 feet down and took out a few trees along the way,” explained Pillay, who spent a few hours in the hospital afterwards to get stitches and deal with pain in his neck, back, and ribs.

Pillay said his car flipped upside down and was crushed. He was bleeding from his ear and had back pain. After honking his car horn, first responders found Pillay, cut open the car door, and pulled him out.

“I don’t know how I survived and I’m struggling with the idea. Before I go out on stage, I’m nervous but I quickly find a way to dig deep, flip that switch and just get out there and perform – it was the same thing when I had to get out of that car – it just wasn’t time for my final bow.”

Since Pillay struggles with prior mental and physical health issues, he said he felt bad about adding more to his “list of stuff.”

“I’m stubborn and a part of me wanted to just push through the physical and mental pain and continue with the show. But knowing how hard everyone has worked on the show, they really deserve better. And I owe it to myself to focus on my health.”

One of Pillay’s best friends who he met through community theatre ten years ago kept him company at the hospital.

“Taking part in community theatre is like having a second family,” said Pillay.

“We’re always looking out for each other; it’s ‘community’ first, ‘theatre’ second. Just as they were confident in me when I stepped in, I have no doubt that my replacement will do a great job. I’ll be in the audience cheering everyone on.”

Pillay’s now set to assist backstage if he’s feeling up to it, and the role of Angus has been taken over by Raymond Hatton.

Pillay’s favorite part of the show is “being part of a team.”

“There are people here that I’ve worked with before while others are new to me. It’s nice to rekindle old friendships while fostering new ones,” he added.

Pillay has been involved with community theatre for more than ten years, and Half Life is his fourth show with the Langley Players Club.

According to Pillay, the show is appropriate for all ages, and the performances will be “memorable.”

“The actors in this show are very talented and dedicated.”

Half Life runs Thursdays to Sundays from Jan. 17 to Feb. 16 at the Langley Playhouse on 4307 200 St.

Show times are at 8 p.m. Thursday to Saturday, and 2 p.m. on Sundays.

Tickets for all performances are $20 and can be purchased online through Brown Paper Tickets: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3426401

Just Posted

Team BC advancing undefeated in junior nationals

A Langley-based team is 6-0, thus far, at the Canadian curling championships.

VIDEO: Rivermen back on the ice in Langley tonight

In their game against West Kelowna tonight, Langley’s junior A hockey team gets into action at 7:15.

Langley serves as backdrop to pair of competing short films

In the 20th annual Crazy8s Film competition, two of six producers will be filming in Langley.

Fraser Valley Thunderbirds perched in first place

Minor midgets, including several from Langley, hit the ice again on Friday.

Chances coming for public to have say on Langley tax rates

Local councillors will soon debate property tax rates for 2019.

VIDEO: Here’s what the B.C. legislature officers are accused of buying

Personal trips, purchases, alcohol and more laid out in 76-page report by Plecas

Men allegedly tied to Red Scorpions gang arrested in B.C. drug busts

Nanaimo RCMP have made multiple arrests and seized drugs, weapons and cash

Man pulls over to help injured owl, gets hit by SUV

Chase RCMP say owl flew away while they were on scene

VIDEO: Soon-to-be-extinct caribou moved to B.C. interior

The three caribou are being held in pens north of Revelstoke

B.C. cop who assaulted homeless man may avoid criminal record

Kamloops RCMP Const. Todd Henderson was charged with one count of assault causing bodily harm

Thunderbirds excited to fly over Fraser Valley at Abbotsford airshow

Members of U.S. Air Force aerial performance troupe visited town to scope out the airfield

Four students sent to hospital after school bus crash in Mission

Mission RCMP say hospitalization a precaution, 14 students were on board

5 to start your day

Court hears South Surrey mother ‘never called 911’ after killing daughter, Four students sent to hospital after school bus crash in Mission and more

Most Read