Talented singer and musician Sarah MacInnis of West Mabou is one of the cast in Keppoch Wedding coming soon to Strathspey Place
-by John Gillis
The church has blown down in Keppoch so the marriage of Boston Bessie Beaton and a young Irish lad she comes home with must go ahead.
Consequently, the marriage is set to take place in the Ceilidh House hosted by Maggie and Joe MacLean.
That’s the foundation of the new play and musical, A Keppoch Wedding, presented by the Ships of 1801 Society.
The show is the third in the Keppoch Trilogy from the Ships of 1801 Society.
Previous shows have been very well received, many selling out auditoriums throughout Nova Scotia. Those prior shows included Keppoch Kitchen Party and last year’s Keppoch: The Last Wake.
The stories and music are a reflection of the language, music, and culture of many of the small Irish and Scottish communities that have virtually disappeared from places like Keppoch Mountain on the mainland and other similar communities in Cape Breton over the years following the settlement of the Scottish and Irish immigrants.
The first shows from the Ships of 1801 Society were The Ships of 1801, Strathglass Farewell and The Year of the Burning. They primarily covered stories from the period of leaving Scotland.
Joe MacKinnon, age 87, formerly of Inverness and a native Gaelic speaker, is a cast member in the show as well as Sarah MacInnis of West Mabou.
Preparations for the new show started right after last year’s show completed its run.
“They’re a very talented group and they get along very well,” said producer and writer Duncan MacDonald.
“Act 1 of the show reveals the preparations for the wedding while Act 2 includes the wedding and the ceilidh that follows. Some of the songs in the show include: Carrickfergus, Isle of Hope, Isle of Dreams, Home I’ll Be, and Come By The Hills,” MacDonald told The Oran last week.
The play is set circa 1939 in the Keppoch community and it picks up where last year’s show left off.
“There are about 12 fiddlers in the community at that time and we’re trying to capture the flavour of that period there,” Duncan MacDonald added.
“In last year’s production, Boston Bessie had announced that she’d be getting married the following year and there was a Mountie who had been investigating the bootlegging that was going on in the area and he’s back again to continue with his investigation. There is plenty of humour and sarcasm and great singing. We’ve been told by the audiences that it’s a very entertaining show.” MacDonald concluded.
The show takes place at Strathspey Place in Mabou on September 22nd at 7:00 p.m. and tickets are on sale now.
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