Review by Christopher McGarry
Performed, written & directed by
David Weale, Gary Evans, Alan Buchanan and Dennis King
Rachel Beck and Bennett Buell (music)
Over the past four years, these well-known Islanders have made a considerable name for themselves on the local entertainment scene telling hilarious and sometimes sad stories about the rich heritage of the Cradle of Confederation. The packed house was treated to an entire evening of great storytelling that encompassed all aspects of traditional Island life including the railway, weather, different generations, hangings in Charlottetown, The Women’s Institute, politics, as well as the once conflict-ridden Catholic/Protestant divide. One by one, the tellers enlightened those in attendance with amazing and sometimes outrageous tales of people and events, many of which took place in local communities.
For two hours, there was nothing but pure chemistry between the Four Tellers and their audience, who were captivated by the group’s fascinating renditions of classic Island narratives. Each story evoked a hearty helping of laughter, although there were a few poignant moments as well. Mr. Weale, Mr. Evans, Mr. Buchanan and Mr. King each took turns telling stories about famous Islanders including Dr. Lester O’Donnell, Harry MacTavish of Iona and Fr. Frank Ledwell, a long-serving priest. One of the funniest tales of the evening about Lawrence MacAulay and Allan Rankin travelling to Ottawa to meet the Dalai Lama.
There were so many excellent facets of The Four Tellers: The Last Laugh. The performers were full of energy. Their knowledge of Island history and culture is simply flawless.
There are no tedious moments in this show. If you’re looking for side-splitting tales of Island life interspersed with great local music, then you will love The Four Tellers: The Last Laugh. Each one of the tellers has his own unique perspective on the stories he tells. If there is one regret I have about this show, is that it’s truly a shame that these talented storytellers will be hanging up their hats after this season.
—The Four Tellers: The Last Laugh will be performed live at the Kings Playhouse in Georgetown until September 3.