SHOW­ING THEIR ROOTS

Pa­trick Led­well and Mark Haines show their roots in the fifth edi­tion of ‘The Is­land Summer Re­view’ play­ing se­lected dates at Har­mony House The­atre

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - THE ISLAND - BY SALLY COLE sally.cole@The­Guardian.pe.ca Twit­ter.com/Sal­lyForth57

Pa­trick Led­well, Mark Haines on­stage for fifth edi­tion of ‘The Is­land Summer Re­view’.

When some­one’s roots are show­ing, they of­ten get them touched up be­fore any­one no­tices.

But not Pa­trick Led­well and Mark Haines.

They’re happy to bring their nat­u­ral tresses to a brand new edi­tion of “The Is­land Summer Re­view”.

“Everything that is part of the show is deeply felt, and we would like it to raise lit­tle hair on the arms in some way. So it’s all con­nected to our roots,” says Led­well of the show that runs ev­ery Wed­nes­day, Thurs­day and Fri­day at 8 p.m. at Har­mony House The­atre in Hunter River un­til Sept. 8.

Now in its fifth sea­son, the vi­brant va­ri­ety show fea­tures Led­well, a co­me­dian, and Haines, a multi-in­stru­men­tal­ist/singer/song­writer, team­ing up to per­form an original set of Is­land sto­ries with up-to-date hu­mour, di­verse mu­si­cal styles and a foot-stomp­ing blend of everything in be­tween.

“I’m a roots-based mu­si­cian. It’s what I like to do and it’s fun to bring some­thing to the ta­ble, maybe some­thing I’ve worked on for years and I tell Pat it’s some­thing I want to do,” says Haines.

For in­stance, he brought a “killer ver­sion” of ‘Mack the Knife’ to re­hearsals a few months ago. In turn, it in­spired Led­well to put his own strand of sto­ry­telling along side of it.

“I’ve al­ways liked the roots of my Dad’s story about Is­land nick­names which has things in it like ‘Jimmy Joe the butcher’ in it. In the same way, ‘Mack the Knife’ has a string of names that go into jazz be­bop.

“So, to give the show a dif­fer­ent weave, we have put 1950s jazz styling to­gether with the rhythms of nick­names in Kings County. And, in the end, come up with some­thing that feels freshly styled and new,” says Led­well.

An im­por­tant strand of the show is cel­e­brat­ing the 150th birth­day of Canada. And how the coun­try is show­ing its roots as a nation, while re­tain­ing its P.E.I. con­nec­tions.

“I have a song that I wrote with Wade Lynch that tells the whole story of the Fa­thers of Con­fed­er­a­tion in six min­utes. You should hear it,” says Haines.

As a re­sponse to the song, Led­well im­me­di­ately brings the people in the au­di­ence to­gether by ask­ing them what part of the coun­try they’re from.

“We wanted to make sure people knew from the off­set that there are people in the au­di­ence of 120 from all over Canada.”

A spe­cial story that Led­well is telling is based on a photo of four Is­landers taken just af­ter the Bat­tle of Vimy Ridge. His grand­fa­ther, Thomas Alexan­der Led­well, is one of the sol­diers. With the 100th an­niver­sary of the bat­tle and so many people say­ing Canada came into its own as a nation at Vimy, he felt it was time to tell the fam­ily ac­count be­cause so many Is­landers and Cana­di­ans saw hor­ror there.

“But what I’m choos­ing to bring across, as part of my roots, is that my grand­fa­ther gave my fam­ily and me the gift of words. And, af­ter the war, when he came back to St. Peters Bay he was fiercely com­mit­ted to a peace­ful life of ideas, shar­ing and read­ing.

And it’s so won­der­ful to see people con­nect­ing with that.”

SALLY COLE/THE GUARDIAN

Funny man Pa­trick Led­well, left, and mu­si­cian Mark Haines have a spon­ta­neous re­hearsal on the streets of Char­lot­te­town this past Tues­day. Their show, “The Is­land Summer Re­view”, runs Wed­nes­day, Thurs­day and Fri­day, 8 p.m., at Har­mony House The­atre in Hunter River un­til Sept. 8.

RYAN ROSS/THE GUARDIAN

Pa­trick Led­well and Mark Haines ar­rive for sound check for Wed­nes­day’s show at Har­mony House The­atre.

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