Patrick Ledwell and Mark Haines answer a few questions
The Island Summer Review is playing at Harmony House in Hunter River for a fourth year. Here’s what the performers, Patrick Ledwell and Mark Haines, have to say about the 2016 season.
For those who have never seen The Island Summer Review, how would you describe it?
Patrick: The Island Summer Review is a combination of Jimmy Fallon and Jimmie Rodgers, legend of blues and country music. Each night, Mark and I blend topical stand-up comedy with roots music, and plenty of audience involvement.
What is it about Harmony House that brings you back each year?
Mark: Harmony House Theatre is a gem. It provides a world class theatre in the charm of a Prince Edward Island small hall. It offers performers an opportunity to do what they do best.
Is the show the same as previous years?
Patrick: The show is all new. Each year brings a bumper crop of new happenings on PEI and it’s entertaining to send these real stories through the funhouse mirror. Whether we’re talking about a fox stealing school newspapers, or a painted-on traffic roundabout, the show holds up a reflection of PEI life. A reminder for Islanders that we live in a funny place, and an invitation for visitors to come in and share the joke.
What’s your favourite part of this year's show?
Patrick: This year, I like how there’s a question running through the show about home, away, and how those two worlds co-exist. Sometimes, that plays itself out as jokes about how nervous Islanders get about Amish arrivals, or sometimes it plays itself as a heartfelt original tune about coming home. I like how the jokes and the songs reflect off one another, and offer different angles on the same conversation.
Visitors to PEI often say they want to see something that’s genuine—“real PEI”. Does this show fit the bill?
Mark: For a show to work on PEI it has to appeal to Islanders and tourists alike. The Island Summer Review does that. The Islanders come to see themselves and things that have meaning to them and the visitors come to get a glimpse what life here is like.
Patrick: We have neighbours in the audience every night, who’ve made a point to be there, and arranged dinner and babysitters. We’re going to bump into them at the Sobeys all next winter. So we’re committed to make sure it’s their best night of the summer, no doubt. If we can meet that call from friends and family, we find it’s a great show for people from Florida and France too.
The Island Summer Review 4 runs Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday night at 8 pm until September 9.