Catch Arts Club's The Shoplifters onstage in New West

Tickets are on sale now, so grab some as stocking stuffers and treat a friend to the Jan. 14 production at Anvil Centre

There’s nothing like a night at the theatre to bring some light to the winter darkness.

The Shoplifters, a Canadian comedy by Morris Panych, is touring the Lower Mainland this winter, and it’s stopping in New Westminster on Tuesday, Jan. 14. It’s being brought to the stage by the Arts Club Theatre Company.

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The play follows Alma (Patti Allan), a career shoplifter who prefers the “five-finger discount” over any senior citizens’ deal. When a grocery store theft with her anxious sidekick (Agnes Tong) goes awry, her elaborate life of petty crime is halted by an overzealous security guard (Raugi Yu) and his affable mentor (Dean Paul Gibson).

The Shoplifters is about small people with small lives – people who want something and will do anything to get it,” said Panych, the playwright who also directs the production, in a press release. “I’m really fascinated with what’s happening in the world right now, with people being left behind, and I wanted to write about that.”

For Arts Club’s artistic director, Ashlie Corcoran, the chance to present something by Panych was an opportunity she couldn’t pass up.

“One of my seminal Arts Club experiences growing up was seeing Morris Panych’s shows,” she said in the release. “The Shoplifters is a funny and idiosyncratic script, with fantastic characters and rhythm. I am thrilled that Morris and his partner, Ken MacDonald – an incredible designer – are taking the play on tour. They have been hugely important in our company’s history, and I am excited to share this show with a wider audience.”

The Lower Mainland tour runs from Jan. 9 to Feb. 9, with the New Westminster show at the Anvil Centre Theatre on Tuesday, Jan. 14 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are available through, and more information can be found at



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