| The Mackenzie/Papineau Rebellion
Written and Directed by Michael Hollingsworth
The History of the Village of the Small Huts, 1837-1838
Part Three of the History cycle premiered at Theatre Passe Muraille with previews starting April 11, 1987 and opening April 15, 1987. It was presented by VideoCabaret at The Cameron House April 12-June 2, 2002
The MacKenzie / Papineau Rebellion is the story of Toronto's political and social origins, a time when democratic ideas were even more inflammatory than at present. Michael Hollingsworth dramatizes the legendary 1837 Rebellions in Upper and Lower Canada with an expert eye for the comedy, hypocrisy, pathos and modern resonance of events.
William Lyon Mackenzie published a rabble-rousing newspaper in the muddy town of York. When York, against his advice, was amalgamated into the new city of Toronto, Mackenzie became its first Mayor, challenging the so-called Family Compact's control of landholdings, laws, and votes, and vowing to get their feet "off the people's necks."
Louis Joseph Papineau, a wealthy landowner whose ideas echoed those of Mackenzie and their times, preferred a more limited revolution in which wealthy Francophones would replace wealthy Anglophones.
The story of the Farmer's Revolt and the Uprising of Les Patriotes interweaves the plots and subplots, conspiracies and stratagems, that lead to the brutal suppression of both rebellions, and the endgame Toronto Historian William Kilbourne described as "comic ignominy."
The play features 41 characters - from Bishop Strachan to Papineau's Mom, including Robert Baldwin and Luis LaFontaine whose legendary alliance brought the promise of 'Responsible Government' to the Canadas.