Based on Sheldon Currie’s best-selling novel by the same name, the play will be performed in Halifax starting February 26.
And in the wake of the play, sales of Currie’s classic novel have taken off once again.
“The Glace Bay Miners’ Museum is our longest-running novel,” says Ron Caplan of Breton Books. “It got a tremendous boost in 1996 because of the movie, Margaret’s Museum, that starred Helena Bonham Carter. Since then, several schools and universities use it in classrooms, and right along Cape Breton tourists have bought it as a souvenir.” Read a review of the film from WGO # 8, January 1996.
And now, with 16,000 copies sold, the novel is being discovered again by people who have heard about the play. Read a review from WGO # 6, November 1995.
The novel has the wider story that includes, along with love and family, Sheldon Currie’s take on unions and Gaelic Heritage. Lill’s play concentrates her compassionate look at Currie’s joyful, heart-scalding story of Margaret MacNeil and her rebellious love for Neil Currie, a miner by trade and a bagpiper for the joy of it. Set against the darkness and disasters of the coalmines of 1940’s Cape Breton, this vivid drama bears witness to the impact of the region’s major industry, and its shocking conclusion leaves audiences gasping.
Directed by Mary Vingoe, the cast of the stage play includes Francine Deschepper as Margaret MacNeil, David Francis as Grandpa, Gil Garratt as bagpiper Neil Currie, Martha Irving as Margaret’s mother Catherine MacNeil, and Jeff Schwager as Margaret’s brother Ian MacNeil.
The Neptune Theatre run is from February 26 to March 17. Sheldon Currie will speak at the formal Opening Night, March 1. Tickets can be bought by calling The Neptune at 1-800-565-7345, or online. The novel The Glace Bay Miners’ Museum continues to be available in stores across Canada and online at capebretonbooks.com.