Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Stage West Theatre Festival creates fine theatre in Corner Brook

by Keith and Heather Nicol
A scene from "A Fine Tyme"
       This summer Stage West Theatre Festival (SWTF) has created a varied programme of first class evening entertainment in Corner Brook. We often like to be active, hiking or sea kayaking by day and then go to a play or hear music in the evening and for the month of July, 2012 locals and visitors alike will have the opportunity to see a Stage West performance most evenings. So far we have seen 2 plays and 1 night of music and have been very impressed by the variety and quality of the performances. On Saturday, July 7 we saw “The 39 Steps” and the 4 actors do a terrific job of playing dozens of characters in this farce of the Hitchcock movie of the same name. The staging is very creative and the actors do a very good job of playing many roles, in some cases at virtually the same time! We loved the chase scene where the actors vibrated their hats and coats to simulate the speed of the train. The next night we heard “A Fine Tyme” which is a compilation of a mostly Newfoundland songs and stories. If you like Newfoundland music this is a must “hear” and the show will be performed another 7 times including its finale on August 1. On Monday, July 9 we saw the classic “Salt-Water Moon” and this is another first rate show. The young actors give two strong performances of this delightful play written by David French. We thought “Salt-Water Moon” was a gem and so did the audience on the night we saw it, giving the actors a standing ovation. There are 2 more plays- “This is Dan” and “The Drawer Boy” that will premiere later in July. For a full schedule of times and locations of the shows see:

A scene from "The 39 Steps" (photos by Jillian Parsons)  
Under the arch
      In the summer there is great hiking and amazing sea kayaking in the Corner Brook area. Some of our previous blogs have covered Corner Brook-Bay of Islands hiking opportunities, so lets look at what may be one of the most scenic sea kayak trips in the province. The put in is at Bottle Cove on the south shore of the Bay of Islands and the take out is at the gravel beach in Lark Harbour. The 12.5 km route passes under dramatic 200 meter sheer cliffs, past Southhead Lighthouse and then along the steep slopes and waterfalls to the community of Lark Harbour. On our most recent trip in late June, 2012 we saw many minke whales and also paddled under an elegant sea arch (only doable at high tide). Allow 3.5 to 4 hours to do the trip depending on how long you spend for lunch and your paddling speed.  However, be warned that this trip is not to be taken lightly since there are very few places to land and any swell may create awkward wave action near the cliff faces. It is best to do the trip in the morning in light wind and wave conditions. There are many other sea kayaking and hiking suggestions in the Corner Brook – Bay of Islands area on my web site at:
Weebol Island in the distance

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