For thirty-five years, the St. Ann’s Bay Players have been producing plays for a wide audience throughout Cape Breton. Featuring Cape Breton, Scottish, and Irish tales, the mission has always remained to reflect Cape Breton’s rural Gaelic humour, history, and storytelling tradition with a talented group of character actors who know it well. Their theatre has been described as often challenging, thought provoking, and always entertaining with a great sense of very dry, sometimes dark, witty humour.
Out of the 45+ plays produced over the years, 20 have been original works by maritime or Cape Breton playwrights, including Bev Brett, the company’s artistic director. In 2014, Brett adapted Alistair MacLeod’s short story Vision as well as writing two short comedies for the Gaelic College’s KitchenFest! music festival and summer theatre series in an acclaimed and visually stunning production.
This year, the Players are back, and staging Cape Breton author and recent Giller prizewinner, Lynn Coady’s short story, Jesus Christ Murdeena. Set in Port Hawkesbury during the 1980’s, the satire looks at what happens to a small town when an ordinary but peculiar young woman takes up walking. Featuring a mother and daughter duo as played by Peggy Jenkins and Jitka Zgola, they are joined by Sue Brown, Nancy Smith, and Yvonne Leblanc in a classic, storybook style.
Jesus Christ Murdeena is complemented by some hilarious episodes from Still Game, a hit Scottish television show that has origins as a stage production. Featuring two pensioners, Jack and Victor and various other eccentric characters, we follow their well-worn path between the local hotspots – home, store, pub, and funeral home. Like a Scottish Coronation Street, the show is as funny as it is poignant, brilliantly portrayed by Murdock MacDonald and George Dauphney.
Jesus Christ Murdeena and Still Game run August 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, and 21. All shows are set for 7:30pm. Tickets are $20 and available at the Gaelic College Craft Shop by calling 902-295-3441.