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Hasty Pudding returns to Bermuda for first time in two years

HPT 173: Ship Happens (Photograph supplied)

An historic theatre troupe from Harvard University is once again setting sail for Bermuda this month bringing catchy music, elaborate costumes and a boatload of puns with them.

For the first time in two years, Hasty Pudding Theatricals are set to take over the Earl Cameron Theatre with their latest show, HPT 173:Ship Happens.

A spokesman for the group said they were excited to return to the island — which has hosted HPT productions since 1965.

He said: “Only about five members of our entire 40-person group have ever been on our Bermuda tour previously.

“Due to Covid, we have many company members who have never had the opportunity to go on tour, so we are all going into our tour with an open mind and lots of excitement for what’s to come.

“We are ecstatic to learn about all the company’s traditions and perhaps even make some new traditions of our own.”

Set in 1986, Ship Happens follows bellhop Lotta Baggage, who pretends to be an adventurer to sneak aboard a luxury cruise with an eclectic cast of characters including wealthy CEO Millie O’Nair, former dictator Ivan Tarulligan, male model Hugh Geego and inventor Ida Zervbetter.

The spokesman said that almost every aspect of the show had been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said: “On the creative side, we were faced with incorporating masks into costumes, figuring out how to use microphones effectively and have adequate sound with masks, etc.

“On the production side, the pandemic brought about a multitude of logistical and financial challenges.

“From creating Covid testing and masking policies for our rehearsals, audiences and performers to revamping marketing for our return to the stage, we had to rethink many aspects of our annual show.

“Imagine the performers — they have to do an entire 15-minute kick line filled with 80s-themed Jazzercise dances double masked.”

The spokesman added that while the pandemic had created a wide variety of challenges, it also offered the writing team plenty of fodder for jokes, and the troupe were excited to finally be able to travel and “bring a little more joy and laughter during these crazy times”.

He added that HPT had worked closely with the Bermuda Tourism Authority throughout the process to make sure that all of the island’s Covid-19 regulations were followed.

The spokesman said: “As with our Cambridge run, the safety of our patrons and company members is our utmost priority, and that will be the same in Bermuda.

“As such, performers will be masked on stage and audience members will be socially distanced.

“Additionally, we have received a large group exemption from the Government and are so excited to be able to host patrons in the theatre in a safe way.”

Ship Happens will run from March 16 to 18 at Hamilton City Hall’s Earl Cameron Theatre with performances to start at 8pm.

Tickets cost $30 on March 16 and 17 and $40 on March 18, and are available online at bdatix.com.

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Published March 15, 2022 at 7:51 am (Updated March 15, 2022 at 7:48 am)

Hasty Pudding returns to Bermuda for first time in two years

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