The Last Wake com­ing to the deCoste

The News (New Glasgow) - - PICTOU COUNTY - BY ROS­ALIE MACEACHERN

Kep­poch The Last Wake is com­ing to the deCoste Cen­tre Sun­day after­noon, Sept. 17, af­ter three sold-out sum­mer shows in Antigo­nish.

Fol­low­ing on the heels of Kep­poch Kitchen Party, which was part of the deCoste’s Win­ter Blast Fes­ti­val, it is an­other ceilidh, again set in a farm­house on Kep­poch Moun­tain. It starts as a 50th an­niver­sary party for Mag­gie and Joe Ma­cLean but a call on the new party line puts an end to the ceilidh.

Pro­ducer Dun­can MacDon­ald is promis­ing lots of laughs along with a lit­tle Gaelic story-telling and a whole lot of Celtic music.

“We’ve got a party, a wake, a moon­shiner and a po­lice chase, aside from all the won­der­ful singing and danc­ing,” he said.

Pre­sented by the So­ci­ety for the Ships of 1801, the show re­flects the early Celtic cul­ture of Pic­tou, Antigo­nish and In­ver­ness coun­ties – but MacDon­ald points out the Kep­poch shows are more light-hearted than the so­ci­ety’s first three his­tor­i­cal shows.

“Our early shows tapped into some amaz­ing lo­cal tal­ent so we de­cided we would carry on with some lighter en­ter­tain­ment that still re­flects our mu­si­cal and cul­tural her­itage,” he said.

Ann Holton, who sings sev­eral songs, plays the role of the Ma­cLean’s daugh­ter – and has her hands full keep­ing peace be­tween her sharp-tongued mother and an equally out­spo­ken Irish neigh­bour.

An­other pop­u­lar char­ac­ter is the hap­less Michael Lauchie who claims to be worn out by the daily grind of farm­ing the thin soil on the moun­tain.

“At the end of the last show Michael Lauchie had come up with an idea for an eas­ier way to earn a liv­ing and he does quite well un­til the Moun­ties come af­ter him.”

When word comes of a death on the moun­tain, the MacLeans agree to host the old gen­tle­man’s wake, fear­ing his sis­ter is too miserly to give him a good send-off. It be­gins as a somber oc­ca­sion but the neigh­bours all agree the dead man had noth­ing against a party.

“Be­cause he was a good neigh­bour ev­ery­one pitches in to give him the send-off he de­serves,” MacDon­ald ex­plained.

He also pointed out the Pic­tou-Antigo­nish County line di­vides the Kep­poch with com­mu­ni­ties such as Black Brook on the Pic­tou County side.

“A good many of the peo­ple who left the moun­tain came to Pic­tou County to work in the mines or fac­to­ries. Often when a fam­ily bread­win­ner died, the wife would have to move the fam­ily to a town where she could find work and the big­gest town was in Pic­tou County.”

While the last two shows have been set on Kep­poch Moun­tain, MacDon­ald hopes they rep­re­sent any of the early Celtic set­tle­ments that once flour­ished but no longer ex­ist.

“As the young peo­ple left to find work in the mines or on the rail­roads or to go to the Bos­ton States or to On­tario, it got harder for the older folks to stay on the moun­tain. We’re only left with songs and sto­ries and we hope we’re do­ing some­thing to carry them on with these shows.”

Tick­ets for the 2 p.m. show are avail­able through the deCoste Cen­tre.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

4JOHFS "OO )PMUPO XJUI DBTU NFNCFST $BSPM "OOF .BD,FO[JF BOE +PF .BD,JOOPO UIF NBUSJBSDI BOE QBUSJBSDI PG UIF ,FQQPDI .BD-FBOT JO ,FQQPDI 5IF -BTU 8BLF DPNJOH UP UIF EF$PTUF $FOUSF PO 4FQU

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.