Jumbo – June 12 to August 10, 2019

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It’s one of the biggest stories in the history of South Western Ontario. Literally.

Tony Munch (Matthew Scott) and Lucy Meanwell (Annie Jones). Photos by Terry Manzo

From playwright Sean Dixon (The Wilberforce Hotel, Lost Heir) comes the story of one of the biggest names in show business, the one, the only, Jumbo the Elephant.

In the early fall of 1885, P.T. Barnum’s Greatest Show on Earth toured South Western Ontario, playing to sold out crowds. On the bill, among the snake charmer, the aerialists, the tightrope walkers, the contortionists, and the famous bearded lady, Annie Jones, were 28 elephants led by the world renowned Jumbo.

Between their stops in Guelph and London, Barnum’s circus played the bustling railroad city of St. Thomas, Ontario to standing ovations. But on that fateful night, when the circus cars were being packed back up, an unscheduled freight train, travelling unbrakeably fast through the railyard, ended the career, and the life, of the biggest superstar in the world.

A cast of larger-than-life characters, including PT Barnum himself, Matthew Scott the elephant trainer, the Bearded Annie Jones, and a world-famous taxidermist, fill this riveting play that brings a Jumbo-sized Ontario history to life, memorializing the legendary final performance of the most famous pachyderm the world has ever known.

Creative Team

Playwright SEAN DIXON



Set & Costume Designer ERIC BUNNELL

Lighting Designer LEIGH ANN VARDY

Sound Designer & Composer DEANNA H. CHOI

Puppet Designer & Constructor GEMMA JAMES-SMITH

Production Stage Manager HEATHER THOMPSON

Assistant Stage Manager KATERINA SOKYRKO


PETER BAILEY   Shadrach Meshach and Abednego (Shack) Martin



TIFFANY MARTIN   Henrietta Ward

MICHAEL McMANUS   Charles Tripp


TONY MUNCH   Matthew Scott


MARK SEGAL   Juan A Caicedo and Debous the Butcher

“Your story-telling was masterful. I wept most of the way home (an hour’s drive back to Kincardine) as I re-played the story in my mind. The tale of Jumbo captured and unleashed the angst and grief I have felt for a long time now over how we humans are treating the other inhabitants who share this beautiful planet of ours…Jumbo will be for me, one of Blyth’s jewels, over our many (+20) years of attending.” ~ Janice McKean, Blyth Festival Member

“It is always a pleasure for us to attend the opening of Blyth Theatre and more so this year with the dinner and the new play Jumbo, a unique creative experience telling the sad, poignant story of  what happens when we displace  beautiful creatures from their natural habitat. The creative depiction of Jumbo with puppetry was inspirational and real, along with the circus characters who had an emotional attachment to this large animal. One could feel the sadness of Jumbo and his yearning for his tribe. A tearful moment …Our continual admiration for the Blyth Theatre company, your creative courage, bringing unique contemporary stories to the stage with expressive humanity.” ~ Isobel and Robert Smith, Blyth Festival Members

Colleen Jordan, co-owner of Hotel Lux in Blyth, shares her enthusiasm for the play in this short video.

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Play Showings

WednesdayJune 12, 20198pmBUY TICKETS
ThursdayJune 13, 20198pmBUY TICKETS
FridayJune 14, 20198pmBUY TICKETS
SaturdayJune 15, 20192pmBUY TICKETS
SaturdayJune 15, 20198pmBUY TICKETS
TuesdayJune 18, 20192pmBUY TICKETS
WednesdayJune 19, 20192pmBUY TICKETS
ThursdayJune 20, 20192pmBUY TICKETS
FridayJune 21, 20198pmBUY TICKETS
TuesdayJuly 2, 20198pmBUY TICKETS
WednesdayJuly 3, 20192pmBUY TICKETS
ThursdayJuly 4, 20192pmBUY TICKETS
SaturdayJuly 6, 20198pmBUY TICKETS
SundayJuly 7, 20192pmBUY TICKETS
TuesdayJuly 9, 20192pmBUY TICKETS
ThursdayJuly 11, 20198pmBUY TICKETS
FridayJuly 12, 20198pmBUY TICKETS
SaturdayJuly 13, 20192pmBUY TICKETS
TuesdayJuly 16, 20198pmBUY TICKETS
WednesdayJuly 17, 20192pmBUY TICKETS
ThursdayJuly 18, 20192pmBUY TICKETS
SaturdayJuly 20, 20198pmBUY TICKETS
TuesdayJuly 23, 20192pmBUY TICKETS
ThursdayJuly 25, 20198pmBUY TICKETS
FridayJuly 26, 20198pmBUY TICKETS
SaturdayAugust 10, 20198pmBUY TICKETS