Ladysmith Little Theatre looking for love

The Ladysmith Little Theatre is looking for local couples to tell their love stories.

Gordon and Ann Melliar have a love and friendship that has spanned five decades and two continents.

Gordon and Ann Melliar have a love and friendship that has spanned five decades and two continents.

They say all you need is love, and a little love is all the Ladysmith Little Theatre is looking for to enhance its upcoming Valentine’s production.

They are asking local couples to tell their stories of love during a special segment of the Valentine Chocolate Madness and variety show.

“It can be as simple as the story around your first dance at your wedding or as exciting as a [live] proposal of marriage,” says show co-director Wendy Wearne. “Whether it can be commemorated by song or just re-enactment, it’s a story that can be told.”

The production will consist of three shows from Feb. 10-12. The love stories will be told in the middle of two 40-minute sets featuring a variety of acts celebrating love.

Wearne noted that the stories don’t have to necessarily be between a man and woman — they could also include the love between a mother and daughter, for example.

“We will build the performance around whatever the love story is,” she said.

To mark the occasion, Wearne’s parents, Gordon and Ann Melliar, shared their own love story with the Chronicle.

Originally from south Africa, the Melliars have been married nearly 53 years.

Their love has survived both time and tribulations such as the 15-year Rhodesian Bush War.

They say their close-knit friendship has helped keep them though it all.

“You really do have to be friends to stand up and carry on,” Ann said.

Respect and regard for each other’s differences and abilities has also been key.

“That initial phase of physical attraction and physical love is not enduring,” Gordon said.

Ann and Gordon met on a train station platform in Mahalapye, where dances were often held in the evenings.

Both were young and in university at the time.

“I spied her before I knew my friend was taking her out, and I thought she was looking quite nice,” Gordon said.

They began dating when things didn’t work out with Gordon’s friend.

Ann says it didn’t take her long to figure out that Gordon was the man she wanted to spend the rest of her life with.

During their courtship, Ann’s father became very ill and passed away, a process Gordon helped her through.

“That’s when I realized, ‘I like this man; he’s kind,’” she said.

All it took was a simple “I love you,” and Ann sprung the question, as it was a leap year custom for women to propose.

“The next thing I knew, we were going to get married and announced our engagement in the paper,” Gordon said.

They came to Ladysmith in 1999, to join daughter Wearne and her husband on their Yellowpoint farm.

Wearne said it is fundamental to pass the concept of love down to future generations.

“Love is one of the most basic human emotions — it’s the one thing that most songs are written about, it’s what wars have been started over, and I don’t think there’s a human alive who doesn’t have a love story of some form to tell,” she said.

To get involved with the Valentine’s variety show, contact Wendy Wearne by Feb. 1 at 250-245-3262 or e-mail Wendy.Wearne@shaw.ca.

For tickets to the Valentine’s show, visit www.ladysmiththeatre.com or call the box office at 250-924-0658.

Tickets are $25 per single or $40 per couple.

Desserts will be served during the performance.