Manitoba

Theo Fleury play comes to Winnipeg's Praire Theatre Exchange

The story of an ex-NHLer's trials and tribulations on and off the ice is hitting the stage at Winnipeg’s Prairie Theatre Exchange.

Production highlights troubled life of ex-NHLer Theoren Fleury

Theo Fleury play comes to Winnipeg's Praire Theatre Exchange

7 years ago
2:26
The story of an ex-NHLers trials and tribulations on and off the ice is hitting the stage at Winnipeg’s Prairie Theatre Exchange. 2:26

The story of an ex-NHLers trials and tribulations on and off the ice is hitting the stage at Winnipeg’s Prairie Theatre Exchange.

Playing with Fire: The Theo Fleury Story highlights the troubled life of Theoren Fleury, the Canadian hockey icon from Russell, Man.
Playing with Fire: The Theo Fleury Story, will take the stage at the Prairie Theatre Exchange from Feb. 26 to March 15. (Brett Purdy/CBC)

Fleury's journey from smalltown Manitoba had its highs and lows. Fleury is a Stanley Cup champion and an Olympic gold medal-winner, but he also experienced substance abuse and addictions that shortened his career, all of which are well documented in books, public speeches and now the theatre.

“This is a story ultimately of redemption,” said Ron Jenkins, the director of the project.

Jenkins was drawn to the story of Fleury in part by his love of hockey. Jenkins also felt compelled to take on the challenge of telling the right-winger’s story of humble beginnings, and how Fleury overcame incredible odds to make it in the NHL all the while struggling with his personal demons.

Actor Shaun Smyth from the television series Arrow and Witches of East End laces up the skates to take on the role of Theoren Fleury in the PTE production.
The play charts Theoren Fleury's path from Russell, Man. native to an NHL hockey star plagued at different times by addiction.

Smyth will be skating up and down the synthetic ice rink at centre stage during the two-act show. 

The PTE removed seven seats at floor-level to accommodate the ice surface, rink boards and nets. And like many rinks, the one at the PTE has sold ads on the boards. Ads from Natural Bakery, Payworks, Pizza Pizza and the Winnipeg Airport Authority will form part of the backdrop during the play.

Each show opens with different local performers who will get the crowd on their feet with the singing of O Canada. On Opening Night, Stacey Nattrass, who sings at the Winnipeg Jets home games, will be on hand to sing the national anthem.

The one-man play opens Thursday, Feb. 26 and will run until March 15. Tickets range from $25 to $49.

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