Per­form­ers’ Theatre Com­pany set to stage ‘The Fight­ing Days’

Tick­ets go on sale Oct. 3

Sackville Tribune - - COMMUNITY -

When Fran­cis Mar­ion Beynon stepped off the train in the early 1900s in Win­nipeg, she had no idea she would end up be­com­ing the sub­ject of Wendy Lill’s play ‘The Fight­ing Days.’

Fran­cis was born in On­tario in 1884 but her fam­ily moved to Man­i­toba five years later to take up farm­ing. She grew up in a very tra­di­tional and re­li­gious house­hold, where the fig­ure of her fa­ther loomed large and harsh. In 1909, how­ever, she took the step to move to Win­nipeg, two years af­ter her fa­ther died. There, she slowly trans­formed from the ner­vous coun­try girl to a ma­jor voice and force be­hind women ac­quir­ing the vote and worked along­side bet­ter known suf­frag­ist Nel­lie Mcclung.

‘The Fight­ing Days,’ by Wendy Lill, is a fas­ci­nat­ing take on the life of this largely over­looked suf­frag­ist and po­lit­i­cal ac­tivist.

With four cast mem­bers, the play in­tro­duces us to Fran­cis, her sis­ter Lily, Nel­lie Mcclung and the ed­i­tor of the paper where Fran­cis worked, Ge­orge Mcnair. We en­counter the strug­gles, de­ter­mi­na­tion, and de­sires each felt dur­ing those years as Fran- cis de­vel­oped her strongly held views about women and the First World War, and how she be­came the out­spo­ken ac­tivist in Man­i­toba.

Mov­ing through the early years of her life in Win­nipeg, the play moves from scene to scene on a com­pos­ite set de­pict­ing the of­fice where Fran­cis worked, her apart­ment and the places where many suf­fragette events took place. Ma­halia Onichino will be tak­ing the role of Fran­cis, Fiona Brett will be her sis­ter Lily, Val­lie Stearns-an­der­son plays Nel­lie Mcclung and Michael Gal­lant is ed­i­tor Ge­orge Mcnair.

‘The Fight­ing Days’ opens on Oct. 24 and runs un­til Oct. 28, in a new venue. Per­form­ers’ Theatre Com­pany has a short-term lease on the for­mer call cen­tre and liq­ui­da­tion build­ing on the cor­ner of Fair­field and Queens Roads. Tick­ets will be avail­able from Rob Lyon Graph­ics at 10 Wel­don Street, 506-536-1904 be­gin­ning Oct. 3.

For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion visit the theatre com­pany’s web­site www.per­form­er­sthe­ or their Face­book page.

“Ma­halia Thomp­son-onichino as Fran­cis Beynon and Michael Gal­lant as ed­i­tor Ge­orge Mcnair re­hearse a scene from the Per­form­ers’ Theatre Com­pany’s up­com­ing pro­duc­tion of ‘The Fight­ing Days.’”

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