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Hockey comedy coming to Liverpool

Ryan Gladstone and Jon Paterson are set to perform in the show Hockey Night at the Puck & Pickle Pub at the Astor Theatre in Liverpool Feb. 23.
Ryan Gladstone and Jon Paterson are set to perform in the show Hockey Night at the Puck & Pickle Pub at the Astor Theatre in Liverpool Feb. 23. - Submitted

New play perfect for hockey and comedy fans

LIVERPOOL – People might want to don their jerseys to cheer on Canada against the United States in the 2018 Olympic gold medal hockey game.
No, it’s not a prediction of the future – although with the Olympics on right now, anything’s possible. Rather, Hockey Night at the Puck & Pickle Pub is a play set to take place at the Astor Theatre in Liverpool at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 23.
Jon Paterson and Ryan Gladstone will be on stage performing the comedy that night.
“We’re independent theatre artists, and we’ve been touring a fringe festival theatre circuit for about 20 years now,” said Paterson, who recently settled in Liverpool as the Astor Theatre’s co-artistic and technical director.
In 2013, Paterson and Gladstone decided they would work together. Gladstone wrote Hockey Night at the Puck & Pickle Pub and he and Paterson performed it. Gladstone wrote the show for the Sochi Olympics, which were around the corner at the time.
Paterson and Gladstone performed the show a number of places, including the Winnipeg, Edmonton and Vancouver fringe theatre festivals.  
“We think it’s a pretty accessible show because it’s not only reaching comedy fans, but it’s reaching hockey fans as well,” said Paterson.
During the show, Paterson and Gladstone play approximately 24 characters. The play takes place in a pub, and Paterson and Gladstone play themselves – two guys watching a hockey game.
“But we also sort of loop into different characters,” explained Paterson. “There are two old men – a Habs fan and Leafs fan who keep arguing like Statler and Waldorf, there are two hockey nerds who just talk about stats all the time, there are two people on a first date, so we just jump into those different pairs.”
Although playing multiple characters is confusing, Paterson says he thinks it’s “awesome.”
“I really hope people don’t choose Netflix that night,” he said. “Live theatre is an amazing experience.”
Fringe theatre
“The fringe theatre movement was born in Edinborough, Scotland 50 years ago,” explains Paterson.
The idea was to create an opportunity for independent theatre artists to show their work. Additionally, fringe theatre is unjuried and uncensored. Anyone can get in – either through a lottery or first-come-first-serve basis.
“Edmonton and Winnipeg are the largest in North America. Edmonton’s got about 250 companies, and Winnipeg’s got about 200,” Paterson said.
Paterson says the fringe movement allowed him to create and produce his own work.
Meet Jon Paterson
Paterson moved to Liverpool in October to take on the role of co-artistic and technical director.
“The theatre is beautiful. The theatre is absolutely amazing,” he said. “I want to nurture our audience and find out what they want as far as live performances go.”
He says he would also like to challenge the audiences by introducing some live theatre.
Paterson says if the show goes well Feb. 23, he has access to internationally-renowned theatre companies.
“This could be a really good opportunity for Liverpool to see live theatre that doesn’t even make it to Halifax,” he said. 

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