The Last Donnelly Standing
Created by Gil Garratt, Beth Kates & Paul Thompson
Directed by Paul Thompson
Performed by Gil Garratt
Set, Lighting, Costume, Projection & Live Improvised Design by Beth Kates
Sound Design / Compositions by Lyon Smith & Gil Garratt
Commissioned & Produced by The Blyth Festival – 2016
August 2 to September 2, 2016
The massacre of the Donnelly’s is a true story, and an important one in Canadian history. It is also an important part of Canadian theatre history, spawning many important plays. The Last Donnelly Standing was the first to examine these lives post-massacre.
Of the seven Donnelly brothers, only one returned to the charred foundations on the infamous Roman Line to drive his hammer against fresh timbers and rebuild from the ashes: Robert Donnelly. When the rest of the family had moved away after the fateful murders of 1880, Robert refused, and instead took up residence in a house on Lucan’s main street, pacing his porch as the murderers among them walked those very roads. The Last Donnelly Standing was an improvised (text, lighting & projection), epic telling of the story, chronicling the rise and fall of a defiant young man, who stood in the face of history, and dared to burn it all down with a smile.
Photos by Terry Manzo, Beth Kates & Lyon Smith