By Christopher Tobutt
Saving Christmas Island is a feel-good Christmas musical extravaganza to help us count our blessings for the Holiday and New Year, written by Caitlin Tyson, who also plays Mauna, one of the lead characters in the show. It opened at the Harquail Theatre on 27 and 28 November, but there are two more dates, on 18 and 19 December. With a cast of more than 30, it features well-known and loved characters like Buddy the elf, the Grinch, Santa Claus, and other Disney favourites, and is guaranteed to lift spirits.
It follows Mauna and her friends as they come to her island to spend Christmas. But she’s feeling a little bit stuck and trapped, and wanting to experience new things. So, she wishes for a “magical winter wonderland,” type of Christmas, instead of her own island’s warm, tropical beauty, and, without giving too much of the story away, the moral is: be careful for what you wish for.
“There is someone in the shadows who casts a curse to turn their beautiful idyllic Island into a freezing cold, not-so-wonderful wonderland,” Ms Tyson said. “So, they go on this adventure to try to save Christmas forever before its ruined. They seek out the Grinch who is they only person they’ve heard about who ever saved Christmas, and with his help, they try to save Christmas, but there are a lot of twists and turns and bumps along the way, but in the end it’s a story about friendship, forgiveness, and being grateful for what you have.”
Since studying acting in New York, and then coming back to win Miss Cayman 2018, Ms Tyson has been busy writing and producing her first movie, ‘All Out’, in October last year. She began writing Saving Christmas Island partly as a way to resolver her own feelings she was experiencing after the Covid lockdown of 2020. “I was actually feeling a bit stuck and trapped myself, and I was trying to find all these things to be grateful for, because Cayman was in such a great position compared to the rest of the world, but still the Covid pandemic took a big toll on all of us, so this was my outlet to release all of that,” she said. “We can always look outside and wish for something more, but sometimes it’s what we already have that we should be grateful for.”
It’s the first time onstage for Lisa Welman and her 11-year-old daughter, Jodie, and they are loving every minute of it.
“I’m playing Mrs Potts who is from Beauty and the Beast,” Lisa said. “And I’m playing Chip, her son, who was turned into a teacup,” Jodie said, “We’re both very excited.”