BY KIRSTEN BOLTON
After its lively and well-attended concert for ArtSpring’s Treasure Fair in July, The Fugitives are back on Sunday, Oct. 22 at 2:30 p.m. as an acoustic roots and folk group to present a moving performance entitled RIDGE, especially appropriate as we move towards Remembrance Day.
Often called “the battle that made Canada,” Vimy Ridge in World War 1 resulted in over 10,000 Canadian casualties. With this significance in mind and research sourced from historians and authors such as Pierre Burton, RIDGE is a performance that combines historical WWI stories, powerful lyrics and music from The Fugitives’ 2022 JUNO-nominated album Trench Songs to create a poignant and thought-provoking theatre show.
Except for The Last Post and Rouse, all songs are WWI-era songs, predominantly written by soldiers, according to head songwriters Adrian Glynn and Brendan McLeod.
“In most cases, these were parodies, which used the melodies of well-known songs at the time, with the lyrics rewritten to reflect the soldiers’ dire circumstances,” explains McLeod. “We have rewritten the melodies and arrangements, both to more readily access the emotions of the lyrics, but also to continue folk music’s long tradition of reshaping songs over time, the same way soldiers reshaped these protest songs in the trenches.”
Comprised of Brendan McLeod (guitar, bass, vocals), Carly Frey (violin, vocals), Chris Suen (banjo, guitar, vocals) and Adrian Glynn (bass, guitar, harmonica, vocals), The Fugitives have toured extensively throughout Canada, Western Europe and the U.K., earning a 12-year reputation for unforgettable live shows brimming with complex harmonies, infectious storytelling and top-notch musicianship.
Jumping forward to Wednesday, Oct. 25, Salt Springers of a certain age will be ready to have a laugh and relate to real life scenarios in the live sketch comedy Middle Raged, written and performed by Geri Hall and Gary Pearson.
This smart and funny stage show explores the time of life “when you realize you are running out of time.” With terrific on-stage chemistry, Hall and Pearson play a married couple dealing with the madness of childrearing, empty nesting, aging parents, financial stresses and even trying Outlander-style role play to spice up the bedroom.
With break-out successes at Canada’s largest fringe festivals, Middle Raged, in the words of one Now Magazine reviewer, achieves “hot flashes of brilliance.”
Gemini Award winner Hall is best known for her five seasons as a regular on This Hour Has 22 Minutes, and she has also appeared in numerous feature films like Shall We Dance and Hairspray. Pearson has been a comedy writer for such shows as MadTV, This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Corner Gas, Just For Laughs and Sunnyside, which he co-created.
Both Hall and Pearson were on The Second City Toronto main stage and have extensive backgrounds in improv, which they hope to be hosting a workshop about on Salt Spring.