Thursday, 25 July 2013

“The Belle of Bonavista Bay” makes for entertaining theatre in Cow Head

by Keith and Heather Nicol
     We saw the play The Belle of Bonavista Bay with my brother and his wife who traveled all the way from Victoria, B.C. to do some exploring in Newfoundland. Since we like the Gros Morne Theatre Festival (GMTF) so much we decided to take them to this play along with Newfoundland Vinyl –The Flip Side which was playing the same night which makes a great double bill. The GMTF explores plays with a Newfoundland connection and The Belle of Bonavista is a fine example. It deals with a Newfoundland girl (played by Stephanie Payne) who goes to England to explore her roots. We loved the set –the full scale maps of Newfoundland and the Atlantic Ocean and England serve to remind you of the strong historical connection between these 2 places. We appreciated watching all of the actors and Stephanie Payne has created a very engaging, feisty character in Daniela The play seamlessly bridges the centuries with interesting human stories and relationships.  We also liked the use of slides to depict Daniela’s ancestor sailing to Newfoundland in the 1830’s. Colin Furlong, Craig Haley, Miranda Power and Stephanie Payne are good singers and there are several songs that really added to our enjoyment of the play. The Belle of Bonavista Bay was written by Philip Goulding and directed by Jeff Pitcher. 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. 

Gros Morne National Park has lots to entice the visitor so for people seeing a play by night in Cow Head they will have no shortage of options of what to do during the day. Previous blogs have detailed hiking trails, local sites of historical interest, boat tours and many other activities that people can avail of. But for those visitors interested in geology, Gros Morne National Park is standout. In fact it has UNESCO World Heritage status for what it tells us about plate tectonics. But equally impressive is Green Point which is just south of Cow Head. It has a world class collection of rocks that show the geological boundary between the Cambrian and Ordovician eras. And a new book which will help you learn about the significance of Green Point and 47 other sites around the province is worth picking up. It is called The Geology of Newfoundland by Martha Hild and it has recently been published by Boulder Publications of Portugal Cove, Newfoundland. We have used it for several Western Newfoundland sites that are listed and look forward to taking it with us when we travel to other places in the province. 

The Geology of Newfoundland is a good addition to travel literature for NL
 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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