‘Criminals In Love’ begins its spree at HAT
As it’s February offering, The Highland Arts Theatre is staging George F. Walker’s Governor General’s Awardwinning play, “Criminals In Love,” opening on Monday for a six-night run.
One commentator describes “Criminals In Love” as “a rambunctious, deft and hilarious work about destiny, love and the classes” from one of Canada’s most prolific and honoured playwrights.
Teenaged Junior is being blackmailed from prison by his father to follow him into a life of crime. But Junior loves Gail and soon the two of them are dealing with the denizens of a criminal underworld that defies description. At turns tragic, farcical, romantic, and poetic, “Criminals In Love” has been a hit with critics and audiences since its debut in 1984. Its popularity has also led to two sequel plays catching up some of the characters as their relationships evolve.
“Criminals In Love” is directed by Hilary Scott, who is a HAT audience favorite as a highly skilled actor, and assisted by Alison Crosby, who has stage-managed several of HAT’s major productions.
On Tuesday, Feb. 21, 8 p.m., the Governor’s Book Pub welcomes a very special guest, Wanda Robson, to commemorate Nova Scotia’s African Heritage Celebration 2017.
Viola Desmond has been honoured with a Heritage Moment documenting her stand against the racial segregationist policy of a New Glasgow movie house in 1946. Ms. Desmond’s stand for her rights was also commemorated on a Canadian postage stamp. And this past fall, the Canadian government honoured her contribution to our country’s civil rights struggle by announcing her image would be featured on the country’s $10 bank note.
Wanda Robson, Ms. Desmond’s sister, did much to bring Ms. Desmond’s courageous actions to the public’s attention. She has also authored a book of reminisces about her sister, “Sister to Courage” (Breton Books).
Also speaking at the book pub is Jon Tattrie, author of “Redemption Songs” (Nimbus), which tells the extraordinary story of how one of Bob Marley’s greatest songs was born from a speech Marcus Garvey delivered in Sydney in 1937.
After Ms. Robson’s and Mr. Tattrie’s talks, the book pub will conclude with its regular open stage session where all aspiring authors can present a short selection (on any topic) from their unpublished work.
Admission to the book pub is by donation to the “Jar of Consequence” which earns patrons a chance to win a fabulous door prize.
Robson will also be speaking the next day, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 1 p.m, with Dr. Graham Reynolds, author of “Viola Desmond’s Canada” (Fernwood Publishing). This event takes place at Cape Breton University’s Library Student Lounge and is open to all members of the public.
One reviewer describes Dr. Reynold’s book as “a significant and timely contribution to the burgeoning field of African Canadian history and social justice studies.”
Also at CBU the week before, on Thursday, Feb. 16, 3 p.m., for African Heritage Celebration 2017, will be poet and novelist George Elliott Clarke for a reading at the CBU Library Student Lounge.
Clarke is currently serving as the Canadian Parliamentary Poet Laureate and has published the critically acclaimed novel “George and Rue,” the play, “Whylah Falls,” and several books of poetry including the Governor General’s Awardwinning RIGHT: Pioneer black activist Marcus Garvey, gave a speech in Sydney in 1937 that inspired Bob Marley to write “Redemption Song”, and became the subject of the book “Redemption Songs” by Jon Tattrie. Tattrie is a guest at the February Governor’s Book Pub. “Execution Poems.”
This event is also open to the public.
Finally, this column moves to a different day of the week and will publish every second Wednesday, beginning Feb. 15.
The new day of the week will allow me to review some plays that are still in their performance run and spotlight upcoming events in plenty of time for the weekend.
Look for it on the Arts and Entertainment page as usual.
Wanda Robson, at her home in North Sydney, reviews material about her sister, Viola Desmond, and her fight for her civil rights. Robson will be a special guest presenter at the Feb. 21 Governor’s Book Pub.