Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Stepping back into history

Travelling is something I've loved to do ever since I was young. I've been very fortunate that my parents insisted on going somewhere every summer while I was growing up, so I've been able to visit almost all of the provinces in Canada, a number of the states in the United States, and parts of Europe, Australia and Central America. Suffice it to say, I was definitely bitten by the travel bug at an early age.

Sometimes, though, it's nice to be a tourist in your own backyard. Which is why I took in a performance of Fleming at the Basilica of St. John the Baptist here in St. John's.

The one-man play features local Newfoundland actor Paul Rowe as Bishop Michael Anthony Fleming, the man whose determination and vision brought the cathedral to life over 150 years ago.

I won't give too much away, but will say that the play spans a number of years, from the beginning of the construction up to the celebration of the first mass by Fleming. It's interactive too, moving you around inside and outside the church, learning the history visually and aurally. 

Rowe does a fine job of portraying Fleming, using a mix of fact and humour throughout the play. His delivery is captivating, never allowing your mind to stray from the performance and keeping you interested at all times.

The play runs from July 5 to August 27, Tuesday through Saturday at noon. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for students and seniors and can be bought day-of just before the performance. For more information, visit the Basilica Heritage Foundation website or check out their Twitter account.

*Thank you to the Basilica Heritage Foundation for the complimentary tickets.

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