Review by Darcy Cudmore
P.E.I. funny men Patrick Ledwell and Mark Haines are back for another year of their Island Summer Review at the Harmony House Theatre in Hunter River.
One Thursday night I gathered among the visitors (or ‘come from awayers’ as Ledwells calls them early on in the show) and Islanders to take in the great mix of comedy and music that Ledwell and Haines have put together for this fourth edition of the show. In the almost sold out theatre, I found myself sitting between groups of visitors to the Island who, though quite reserved at first, came undone just a few skits into the set. They laughed and applauded, clapped and stomped from then on out, right to the final bow by Haines and Ledwell.
Ledwell is the natural comedian in the show with a strong resume to back it up. He had the audience roaring in laughter during his Compost News and Island Thoughts skits. My personal favourite, though, was the facial expressions he made as the duo played Orange Blossom Special, his guitar playing getting faster and faster as he attempted to keep up with Haines on the fiddle.
Haines jumps from playing the fiddle to the guitar, mandolin and singing. His musicianship is shown off during this show like none other, even if it is comedy show. He plays a few of his original songs and his performance of Calling Through the Driving Rain was a high point in the show for me as things turned a little more straight faced for a moment or two.
Ledwell gets into the music as well, playing the trumpet, snare drum, guitar and singing. Sound and light man Vaughn Murphy also joins the duo for one number on rhythm guitar.
Beware to all, you might leave with some Haines or Ledwell merchandise in hand after their skit to end the first half called A Sales Pitch.
The Island Summer Review 4 is the perfect show for someone who’d like to dive into the inside jokes surrounding P.E.I. and the historic, beautiful and comfortable Harmony House is a great place to watch the show. It is a very inviting room and you can enjoy a drink and a meal in the downstairs lounge before and after the show.
The show runs until September 9, playing every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 8 pm. Islanders and visitors alike should check out what Ledwell and Haines have cooked up for this latest edition of the Island Summer Review. I am already looking forward to what they’ll come up with for next year!
Tickets available at harmonyhousetheatre.com.