By Howaida Sorour-Roberts
Spring is in the air and Theatre Night in Merrickville is getting ready to launch their spring production. This year, TNIM is presenting Hamish by Michael Grant. Set in the Scottish Highlands, it’s a heart-warming comedy with a Canadian flavour.
“I chose it because I really liked it and it’s written by a Canadian who actually went to Scotland to research the play,” said Margaret Shearman, director.
The plot revolves around Kelli, the Canadian wife who books a trip to Scotland for herself and her overworked husband. She picks her husband’s ancestral homestead in the Scottish Highlands as their destination. Upon arrival, they find they’re not quite alone. A long deceased ancestor, Hamish, is still wandering around the old homestead in full Scots regalia. As the story unfolds, a couple of locals, along with the young Canadians, are ‘coached’ by the ghost to set about saving the ancestral home from sale to a rival family and preserving it in the family name.
“The ghost is an interesting part, because it can be played in so many different ways,” said Stef Robar, who says he’s still deciding just how comic Hamish is going to be.
Only one person (and the audience) can see the ghost who cuts an imposing figure at over six feet, dressed in a great kilt.
“It was a bit of a challenge finding a great kilt, but Dave Williams, a TNIM member and a former professional piper, has been helping us out,” Margaret says.
The great kilt, explained Dave Williams, is nine yards of tartan pleated in situ and held with a broad belt. It is a full-length garment in two layers so that the upper portion can be worn as a cloak draped over the shoulder or flipped up over the wearer’s head like a cowl. Naturally with that much fabric and that many pleats the author couldn’t resist.
“There is quite a bit of kilt humour,” confirms Bronwen McKnight, producer.
Right now the cast are in full rehearsal and seem to be thoroughly enjoying their roles and the play.
“It’s a charming, humorous play, it’s snappy and has the potential for some hilarious moments,” said veteran TNIM actor Andrea Howard, who plays Annett Gordon.
The play opens on Friday May 13 and runs until Sunday May 15. Performances on Friday and Saturday start at 8 pm and at 2 pm on Sunday. Tickets are $12 each and are on sale now at Mrs. McGarrigle’s Fine Food Shops and the Merrickville Book Emporium, or online at www.merrickvilletheatre.org.

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