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The Canada Boys

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A Ticket to the New World.

April 1912 Norwich.  The world-famous Colman’s mustard factory in Norwich, concerned by rising unemployment in the city, offers its workers a once-in-a life-time opportunity to start a new life on the other side of the Atlantic. The British Dominion of Canada is desperate for workers to help farm the vast plains of Ontario and those Norwich men brave enough to sign on will receive a new pair of boots, a travelling suitcase, two complete sets of underwear and a ticket to the new world.

Based on true events, Rob John’s The Canada Boys tells the story of Jack and Eddie Craske, two brothers who’d never ventured further west than Wymondham who are now tempted to step into the unknown. In April 1912 eighteen Colman’s workers actually took up the offer from the company and made that life changing voyage to Quebec. Will Jack and Eddie Craske be among them?

Bringing this production to stages in Norfolk and Suffolk has not been plain sailing.  On 16th March 2020 fEAST Theatre, one of the region’s leading touring companies, was starting the final week of rehearsals for The Canada Boys. The show, which was to have been the first of three tours to mark fEAST’s tenth anniversary, had been booked into fifteen venues across the region. Tickets were selling well and the opening night at the Garage Norwich was just four days away. We all know what happened next. The pandemic surged and by Wednesday 18th March costumes and the touring set was put into storage, venues started notifying ticket holders and the actors and crew said goodbye to each other and went home. Like thousands of other arts events in 2020 The Canada Boys was a show that never happened.

fEAST’s Artistic Director Dawn Finnerty said ‘It was heartbreaking. We had a great cast and a wonderful production ready to go on the road and suddenly it was all gone. At the time we thought we might be able to tour later that summer but of course that wasn’t to be.’

But now in February 2022, nearly two years later than was originally planned, fEAST’s production of The Canada Boys will finally take to the road once again.

The show will return with its original cast – including Nimmo Twins star Owen Evans- for a sixteen show tour of the region. This ‘sad comedy’, set in Norwich in 1912, resonates with Norfolk voices and locations and is based on a powerful, true, Norfolk story.

At the time of its first production in 2013, Jayne Morgan in the EDP wrote ‘The Canada Boys is a fine piece of writing which not only speaks to Norfolk but has something to say to us all.’

‘It’s been a tough eighteen months,’ says Dawn Finnerty,  ‘but we’re still here and the shows keep coming. If you live in Norfolk or Suffolk we’ll soon be performing The Canada Boys at a venue near you. Please come and see us!’

Click here to see The Canada Boys tour dates

See www.feasttheatre.com for further information about the company and full details of The Canada Boys tour.

Tony Bellhttps://www.sixtytwothings.com/
Tony is a freelance creative with a background in technology. His company SixtyTwoThings has been working alongside the Mansion House Group for many years.