1837: The Farmers’ Revolt rollicking larger-than-life stories of Canada’s raucous rebellion

Heather Boa Blog

BLYTH, ON – The stories surrounding the rebellion that helped build the very Canada we know today culminate in 1837: The Farmers’ Revolt, a great Canadian mythology wrapped in comedy, music, magic, and action that opens at the Blyth Festival on Aug. 1.

“We’re telling the fiery stories that have been handed down from one generation to the next and embellished through time, the show is larger than life,” said Gil Garratt, who is the Blyth Festival’s artistic director and director of this play. “It’s an epic Canadian story about a rebellion that features local historic titans like Colonel Van Egmond, William “Tiger” Dunlop and William Lyon Mackenzie.”

At its core, this is a play about farmers who distrust the government of the day, and rise up to take them down. Fighting against a class of entitled would-be aristocrats, the farmers in the play are frontier people, eager to break the bonds of tyranny and forge their own country, free of British rule.

Before the Blyth Festival was born, before the community saved the building, the first group of actors who rehearsed in Blyth Memorial Community Hall had to sign waivers in case the roof fell in on their heads. 1837: The Farmers’ Revolt was the show those actors, Rick Salutin and others from Theatre Passe Muraille, were working on at the time. Its creation helped to inspire the start of the Blyth Festival itself, and yet it has never been produced on the mainstage in the theatre’s 44-year history.

1837: The Farmers’ Revolt is performed by Matthew Gin, Marcia Johnson, Lorne Kennedy, Omar Alex Khan and Parmida Vand, who are currently making debut appearances at the Blyth Festival in the wildly popular The New Canadian Curling Club. Together these five brilliant, hilarious performers bring to life dozens and dozens of characters from Canada’s colourful and incendiary history.

The creative team for 1837: The Farmers’ Revolt is: Beth Kates, set, projection and lighting designer; Gemma James Smith, costume designer; and Deanna H. Choi, sound designer and music composer. Together, this award-winning design team have created a world as rich and unpredictable as the story itself. Production stage management by Heather Thompson and Katerina Sokyrko.

Reserve your seats for this extraordinary story by calling the Box Office at 519.523.9300, Toll Free 1.877.862.5984 or online at blythfestival.com.

Blyth Festival acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Foundation, the Ontario Arts Council, Season Sponsor Sparlings Propane, and Season Media Sponsor CTV.

1837: The Farmers’ Revolt is generously co-sponsored by Royal Canadian Legion Branch 420 and Legion Ladies Auxiliary to Branch 420 (Production Sponsors) and Rural Voice (Media Sponsor).

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AT A GLANCE

 

1837: The Farmers’ Revolt | August 1 – September 15

Written by Rick Salutin and Theatre Passe Muraille

Directed by Gil Garratt

TICKETS: $40 orchestra | $36 balcony | $15 youth | (Previews: $18 adults | $15 youth)

BOX OFFICE:  519.523.9300 | Toll Free: 1.877.862.5984 | Online: www.blythfestival.com

 

DATES OF NOTE

August 1 and 2 – Preview 8pm

August 3 – Opening Night at 8pm

September 15 – Closing performance at 8pm

 

COUNTRY SUPPERS

Selected Fridays and Saturdays – Enjoy a home-cooked meal served at a local venue at 6:15pm

Tickets are $22 each and may be booked by calling the Blyth Festival Box Office

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: #bfFarmers

 

Blyth Festival is a professional theatre that enriches the lives of its audience by producing and developing plays that give voice to both the region and the country. The Festival produces a repertory summer season of exclusively Canadian theatre, with an emphasis on new work. The Blyth Centre for the Arts, including the Blyth Festival, was founded in 1975.