Steve Saunders (left) is Hiram B. Cordell and Doug Wickers is Max Mayer in radio play A Pearl in the Hand written by Austin Stone. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Steve Saunders (left) is Hiram B. Cordell and Doug Wickers is Max Mayer in radio play A Pearl in the Hand written by Austin Stone. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

New radio play comes to Cultural Centre after successful first one by Chilliwack Players Guild

Chilliwack theatre company brings radio play A Pearl in the Hand to the stage for two performances

A play with no stage acting last year was so successful, the Chilliwack Players Guild is presenting another one.

Back in January 2019, the local theatre company brought its first ever radio play An Affair of Honour by Austin Stone to the stage. There were no costumes, there was no stage acting, lines weren’t even memorized. It was simply a group of actors sitting at a long table and reading from scripts.

It was a huge hit.

The guild only did the one show, but it sold out. That’s when they knew there was an interest for radio plays.

READ MORE: Chilliwack Players Guild brings first ever radio play to stage

This weekend, they will be presenting their second radio play A Pearl in the Hand also written by Stone. It was broadcast live on BBC on April 22, 1954.

He wrote many stories including nine radio plays. Many years after his death in 1979, a large box which included manuscripts and radio play scripts was handed down to his son, Ed Stone of Chilliwack, who later brought them to the guild.

A Pearl in the Hand is based on the great Hatton Garden pearl robbery of 1913. Hatton Garden is an area of London that is well known for its jewelry and also well known for the odd robbery, Stone said.

“This was one of the very first robberies and it was a sensational robbery purely and simply because the pearls were very, very expensive. The one necklace consisted of 61 flawless pink pearls,” he said.

It was a Texan millionaire visiting London who wanted to purchase the necklace for his wife. It was insured for 150,000 British pounds (approximately $300,000 CAD) at the time and was being shipped from Paris to diamond merchant Max Mayer in London.

“They sent it by mail, by regular mail,” said Stone. “During the time it left Paris and the time it arrived in London it was gone.”

“When they got the post and when they opened the box, they discovered sugar cubes,” added director Astrid Beugeling.

Beugeling also directed An Affair of Honour, and will be directing the next three radio plays by Stone which will be presented in June of this year, January 2021 and June 2021.

“It’s really neat to know these are true stories,” said Beugeling. “[We’re] bringing it back to life from 1913, yet when you hear the story it’s still kind of relevant. Sometimes these things still happen.”

Following the production of the guild’s first radio play in January 2019, Stone received an email from audience member Doug Perry who had brought his visually impaired friend with him to the show.

Perry described his friend as an “experienced thespian” who worked in Hollywood but had never heard of a radio play before. In his email to Stone, Perry explained how much his friend loved the show.

“He so enjoyed it that as the applause faded, he turned to me and whispered fiercely ‘If they do this again, you must tell me,’” wrote Perry.

As a result, Stone has since reached out to the Canadian Federation of the Blind and the Chilliwack chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind inviting members to attend the show.

“From our perspective as a community theatre organization, this is huge for us to be able to reach out to the community and hear back from the community how much they appreciate and enjoy this,” said Beugeling “It’s so heart-warming. It’s why we do what we do.”

A Pearl in the Hand is at the Rotary Hall Studio Theatre in the Chilliwack Cultural Centre on Saturday, Jan. 11 for two performances, one at 12:30 p.m. and the other at 3 p.m. It is round table seating (four per table) and snacks plus coffee and tea will be served. Tickets are $12 and available at the box office, chilliwackculturalcentre.ca or at 604-391-7469.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Ed Stone is the narrator in his father’s radio play A Pearl in the Hand. The piece, written by Austin Stone, will be presented by the Chilliwack Players Guild on Jan. 11. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Ed Stone is the narrator in his father’s radio play A Pearl in the Hand. The piece, written by Austin Stone, will be presented by the Chilliwack Players Guild on Jan. 11. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Maggie Saunders uses various props to make different sound effects for A Pearl in the Hand. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Maggie Saunders uses various props to make different sound effects for A Pearl in the Hand. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Just Posted

Peter Flynn sits at the piano at a Christmas concert. Flynn retired at the end of 2020 and sat down with The Standard to reflect on his long career in the Hope area. (Photo/Peter Flynn)
EXTENDED INTERVIEW: Coquihalla’s longtime elementary school teacher retires

Peter Flynn reflects on decades as a teacher in Hope, teaching at school he went to as a child

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Feb. 28

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Alina Durham, mother of Shaelene Bell, lights candles on behalf of Bell’s two sons during a vigil on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO and PHOTOS: Candlelight vigil for Shaelene Bell of Chilliwack sends message of hope

Small group of family, friends gathered to shine light for 23-year-old mother missing for four weeks

The Great Bear Snowshed on the Coquihalla Highway (Highway 5) in British Columbia. Truck driver Roy McCormack testified in BC Supreme Court in Chilliwack on Feb. 25, 2021 that his brakes started smoking in about this location, and soon after he lost all braking, which led to a multi-vehicle crash further down the road on Aug. 5, 2016. (GoogleMaps)
Truck driver charged in Coquihalla crash showed ‘wanton and reckless disregard for other people’s lives’: Crown

Despite already having brake issues, Roy McCormack tackled the steepest hill on the infamous highway

Abbotsford International Airport. Black Press file photo.
Abbotsford Airport had 4th highest traffic in Canada in 2020, and its number are down

Statistics Canada report describes a ‘devastating year’ for air travel

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Judith Uwamahoro is Black, approximately 4’7″ tall, 80 pounds and has short black hair and brown eyes. (Surrey RCMP handout)
UPDATED: Lower Mainland 9-year-old located after police make public plea

Judith Uwamahoro went missing Friday at around 4 p.m. in Surrey

Five-year-old Nancy Murphy wears a full mask and face shield as she waits in line for her kindergarten class to enter school during the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday, September 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Variant of concern linked to COVID-19 outbreak at three Surrey schools

Cases appear to be linked to community transmissions, but schools will remain open

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

BC Ferries experienced heavy traffic on Feb. 27 following cancellations the day before due to strong winds and adverse weather. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries sailings fill up quickly after Friday cancellations due to high winds

Waits expected on Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route, Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay route

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Most Read