John Archie and Nellie

John Archie and Nellie

Date: Fri, Apr 22 2016 - Sat, Apr 23 2016

John Archie and Nellie

Strathspey Place, Mabou- 7:30 pm, Friday, April 22nd and Saturday, April 23rd

Ticket price – $20, $25 day of show

Are you ready to head to a square dance at Glencoe Mills that you will never forget? Then head to Strathspey Place to see the West Side Performing Arts Cooperative’s production of John Archie and Nellie! It’s the beginning of the 20th century and people are beginning to question the way women are treated, the value of the Gaelic language and the old style square dancing. John Archie has come back to Cape Breton from the West, and Nellie has just returned from the Boston States, and both have secrets that will make the community judge them harshly. Others are struggling to decide to stay or leave, but John Archie and Nellie have decided to make Cape Breton their permanent home.

John Archie and Nellie was first staged in April and August of 2012 to sold out crowds at Strathspey Place. It was the first of three plays written by Brenda MacLennan-Dunphy that starred Lisa Cameron and Barry Fougere, and they are back in the lead roles, bringing John Archie and Nellie alive once again. When they meet for the first time at a square dance in Glencoe Mills, sparks fly! Peggy (Lori Shaw) and Billy (Charlie MacKinnon) are Nellie’s friends and supporters at the dance, while Margaret Campbell (Jacqueline Boyd) and Lexie MacPhail (Evelyn Cameron) are sitting in the corner, gossiping. Lexie’s husband, Lester (Jim Mustard) and her brother Frank (Dougald MacNeil) try to nip out for a drink now from under her watchful eye. Soldier Sam (Rankin MacEachern) is looking for a woman and Ethel (Adèle LeBlanc) is looking for a man, but Florence (Emily Clegg) has had enough of men after living with all her brothers. Jessie Rankin (Elizabeth Matheson), the old school teacher, is just there to enjoy the music supplied by Theresa (Margie Beaton) and Mary Ann (Shelly Campbell).

The musical selections, under the direction of Laurel Brown, and accompanied by Brydon MacDonald, will keep everyone entertained. Cape Breton classics such as There was an Old Woman from Mabou, Go Off on Your Way, Rise Again, Fare Thee Well, Love, and The Island develop the characters’ stories. The play also features new songs such as Lisa Cameron’s Back Home and Calling Me Home, written by Lisa for John Archie. Shelly Campbell and Margie Beaton will play for the square sets, keeping alive the step dancing heartbeat of Cape Breton’s past.

This production will be directed by Cathy MacMillan and produced by writer, Brenda MacLennan-Dunphy. This WeSPAC production gratefully acknowledges the support of the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage and the Municipality of the County of Inverness for this production. Don’t miss the chance to see this local Inverness County story brought to life by this talented group of your friends and neighbours!

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