Kanata Theatre marks Nov. 11 with Mary's Wedding

Award-winning play highlights
a lesser-known 1918 battle

Jim Holmes Kanata Theatre

EMC entertainment - Every year at this time, we remember the young men and women whose sacrifices in the two Great Wars of the 20th century made possible the security and freedom we enjoy today.

We remember them especially by recalling the iconic battles of those wars. For the First World War, the "Great War," the names that echo through history are those of Passchendaele, Ypres, Vimy Ridge, the Somme.

Kanata Theatre's new production of Stephen Massi-cotte's award-winning play, Mary's Wedding throws its spotlight on a less well known battle, that of Moreuil Wood in France, which blunted the German spring offensive in 1918 and may have hastened the conclusion of the war seven months later.

Although the Germans kept possession of Moreuil Wood, they did so at such heavy cost in lives that they discontinued their offensive a few days later.

One of the truly distinctive features of the allied operation was the charge, described by some as the "Last Great Cavalry Charge," of the Canadian cavalry regiment, Lord Strathcona's Horse.

The starting point for the play is the parallel seen by the playwright between the charge at Moreuil Wood and a more famous charge 64

years earlier by the British cavalry during the Crimean War in the Battle of Balaclava, immortalized by Lord Tennyson in his poem The Charge of the Light Brigade.

In that work the poet extols the bravery of the British force, the "six hundred," while questioning the competence of the officers who ordered their doomed and futile charge.

Drawn into this pageant of forces beyond human control or comprehension are three people: two young lovers, Mary (played by Emily Walsh) and Charlie (played by Nicholas Maillet) as well as Charlie's friend and commanding officer Lt. Flowers, a historical character who received the Victoria Cross for his actions in the events described in the play.

Mary and Charlie symbolize many similar people caught up in conflict. Their tender relationship is carried on over distances that even today seem long and must at the time have seemed unbridgeable.

Mary's Wedding, directed by Wendy Wagner, runs in the Ron Maslin Playhouse, 1 Ron Maslin Way in Walter Baker Park, just off Terry Fox Drive, Tuesday to Saturday November 6 to 10 and November 13 to 17.

Tickets are $20. Curtain is at 8 p.m. sharp. The box office is 613-831-4435. For further information visit the website www.kanatathe-atre.com.

 

Emily Walsh and Nicholas Maillet perform in Mary's Wedding, which will debut at the Ron Maslin Playhouse on Nov. 6