Theatre costumes, props and sets belonging to Surrey-based Royal Canadian Theatre Company were found strewn on a South Surrey roadside Thursday morning (Nov. 16). (Submitted photo/Ellie King)

UPDATED: Theatre stuff from stolen trailer found strewn on Surrey roadside

Online fundraiser helps Surrey-based theatre company cover insurance costs

SURREY — The show will go on, despite theatre costumes, props and sets getting dumped from a stolen trailer.

The stuff belongs to Royal Canadian Theatre Company, which is busy preparing a pantomime show for the stage at Surrey Arts Centre, among other local theatres, in December.

Overnight on Wednesday (Nov. 15), a trailer full of theatre-related things was stolen from the driveway of the Brookswood-area home of Ellie King, the company’s artistic director.

On Thursday, the items were found strewn on the roadside in rural South Surrey, near 180th Street and 26th Avenue.

“All this stuff, lying in the mud,” a frustrated King told the Now-Leader. “I know some of it is ruined, like one of the risers we’d planned to use in the panto, it’s smashed. All the stuff is filthy so we have to clean it all up.

“It’s going to take a little while to go through it all and find out what’s ruined and what’s OK.”


All the gear was from a show the company had just finished staging at several theatres as part of a tour around Metro Vancouver. Last Saturday, it was all loaded into a white 12-foot Carry-On cargo trailer recently purchased by the theatre company, as a temporary storage facility.

“We loaded out Saturday after the last show of the run, and we were going to load it into the studio (in Whalley) today,” King said Friday morning.

“There was a lock on the hitch. Somebody really wanted that trailer, which is still missing.”

• READ MORE: ‘Relaxed performance’ of panto a first for Surrey, theatre company says, from Nov. 15.

The contents was insured, King said, “but it’s a $1,000 deductible. I mean, c’mon, for a charity.”

As of Monday morning, the trailer was still missing, King said, and an online fundraising campaign has helped cover the insurance deductible.

“I’ve been blown away by the support people have shown,” she said. “It’s been just tremendous.”

On Thursday morning, King wasn’t aware the trailer had been stolen until she received a call from a woman who lives in the South Surrey area where the goods were found.

“Apparently stuff gets dumped there all the time,” King said. “This woman called me and was not happy, thinking we’d dumped all this stuff there. So she’s telling me this and I look outside and yeah, the trailer’s gone.… She found our phone number on brochures we had in (the trailer). But if it hadn’t been for her, we would never have recovered this stuff. The city would have come and cleaned it all up and taken it to the garbage dump.”

Royal Canadian Theatre Company will stage Sinbad, The Pirates and the Dinosaur at Surrey Arts Centre from Dec. 14 to 26.

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