This summer the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site offers two after hours theatre productions; a murder mystery tour, “What Lies Beneath”, (beginning Wednesday, July 6) and a dinner theatre, “Never Say No” (beginning Thursday, July 7).
“The format for both is unique,” observes Sandy Anthony, Visitor Experience Coordinator for the Fortress, “Not every national historic site has an 18th century style restaurant for a dinner theatre, nor do they have anything like the murder mystery that moves from site to site.”
“Visitors from off Cape Breton are thrilled to get on the site at night,” Anthony says, “Especially towards the end of summer when it gets dark earlier and there is a totally different ambience.”
Off-island visitors occasionally have trouble securing tickets ahead of local residents because, by the time they arrive on Cape Breton and hear about the shows, performances have often been sold out weeks in advance.
Anthony says organizers are making a push online to inform visitors on their way to Cape Breton and the Fortress about the shows and about the benefits of booking tickets as soon as possible.
The Fortress has been hosting a murder mystery show since 1997 and the dinner theatres began in 2008.
This year’s shows are written by two up and coming young Cape Breton playwrights, Nicole MacDougall, who wrote the dinner theatre, and Lindsay Thompson, who wrote the dinner theatre.
“Lindsay wrote last year’s dinner theatre and she wrote the music and lyrics for this year’s show,” Anthony explains, “This is Nicole’s first foray into a murder mystery: I think she found it challenging, but she certainly did a good job.”
Thompson and MacDougall appear in the cast for both shows along with Jenna Currie, Daniel Dobson, David Hutchinson, Ciarán MacGillivray, and Sandy MacLean. Scott Sharplin directed the dinner theatre, and Anthony (herself a veteran of many Fortress murder mysteries as writer, director, and performer) directs “What Lies Beneath”.
Both shows are performed in English and are suitable for 12 years and up. “What Lies Beneath” opens Wednesday, July 6, and runs every Wednesday until August 31. “Never Say No” begins Thursday, July 7, and runs every Thursday until September 1.
For further details on ticket prices and menu options, and to purchase tickets, phone 733-2280 ext. 3436.