Thursday, 27 June 2013

"Two" kicks off the Gros Morne Theatre Festival in fine style!

by Keith and Heather Nicol
      Every year we look forward to attending the Gros Morne Theatre Festival in Cow Head since we like the emphasis on music and plays that deal with topics that Newfoundlanders can relate to. On our first night we saw “Two” by Jim Cartwright and it is set in a pub in Northern England. True to its name, “Two” has just 2 actors but they play over a dozen roles from the landlord and landlady of the pub to various customers that come in over the course of the evening. First we meet the owners of the pub and Jennifer Furlong and Stuart Simpson do a very good job of being the smiling owners of the bar who know everyone by name. But appearances are deceiving and through the night they constantly bicker suggesting a deeper problem with their relationship. The customers range from an elderly caregiver escaping for a quick drink to a couple more interested in watching the “tele” and eating crisps than socializing with other bar patrons. There is a very good scene involving an abusive boyfriend and his cowering girlfriend as well as one customer who has eyes for any woman in the pub. We were impressed with how good these young actors performed, seamlessly changing roles ranging from a young child to an elderly patron. The set is comprised of a bar and several tables and the actors do a fine job serving imaginary pints of beer and cleaning up imaginary glasses off the tables. TNL’s artistic director Jeff Pitcher told us that “Neddy’s Pub and Eatery” at the Shallow Bay Motel is Cow Head’s equivalent and so anyone feeling like a pint after the show only needs to walk a few paces from the theatre to the bar next door.  For more information on TNL’s Gros Morne Theatre Festival schedule or to book tickets to a show see- or call 1-877-243-2899. 
Jennifer Furlong and Stuart Simpson star in "Two" (photo - Johnny Cann)

     If you like to sit and relax, watching the waves roll in and the sun setting (and who doesn’t), then keep an eye for carefully placed Muskoka chairs throughout the park. These chairs are also known as Adirondack chairs and there are now 18 of them scattered around Gros Morne National Park in scenic locations. We have only found a few of them so far but for visitors to Cow Head area here are 3 that we have discovered. A great location for viewing the ocean and with distant views of Western Brook Gorge can be found at UTM 21 0437726 E 5520313 N at the end of the 0.5 km Steve’s Trail accessed by the Broom Point parking lot. Here you can watch the waves roll in and there is an extensive sand beach for walking. If geology is more your thing then the chair located at UTM 21 0430450 E 5503759 N which faces the low cliffs at Green Point is ideal. The rocks at Green Point display a world class geological boundary between the Cambrian-Ordovician eras. Lastly one of our favourites is accessed by the Coastal Trail from the Baker’s Brook Parking lot. Walk a few hundred meters along Baker’s Brook to the ocean and there is the chair facing the shoreline with views to the Lookout Hills in the distance.  The chair location is UTM 21 0430630 E 5501001 N. If readers come across other chairs that they recommend leave their location in the comments section below.
The Muskoka chair at Steve's Trail is in a meadow overlooking the ocean
       If you happen to be staying in Rocky Harbour or Norris Point or at Berry Hill or Green Point campgrounds and would like to access public transport to get yourself to a Gros Morne Theatre Festival production at Cow Head, contact the Festival Box Office 1-877-243-2899 no later than 2 pm on performance day to arrange transportation via the Shuttle Bus.

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