THE BRITISH

Written and Directed by Michael Hollingsworth
The History of the Village of the Small Huts, 1756 - 1812

The British premiered at Theatre Passe Muraille in 1986. It is composed of four one-act plays: The Plains of Abraham, The Conspiracy of Pontiac, The Loyalists and The War of 1812.  The plays were presented in repertory over week-nights, and as full-day marathons on the weekend. Parts one and two of The British (The Plains of Abraham, The Conspiracy of Pontiac) were presented in 2001 at the Cameron House.

The War of 1812 was presented by VideoCabaret at the Stratford Festival in the summer of 2012, and The Young Centre in Spring 2013, before touring to the Magnetic North Festival in June, 2013.

mick and maggie

(clockwise from left) Richard Alan Campbell, Anand Rajaram, Jacob James, Greg Campbell,
Linda Prystawska, Mac Fyfe, Richard Clarkin & Michaela Washburn from The War of 1812 (Stratford, 2012)

Photo by Michael Cooper

The Plains of Abraham
The year is 1756, and the Marquis de Montcalm, the Chevalier Levis, and French troops arrive in Quebec City to prepare for a British invasion.  There they find the colony’s defenses in wretched condition, under the corrupt management of Governor Vaudreuil and Intendant Bigot.

After early victories the British army, under the command of General Wolfe and his rival Generals Townshend and Murray, attacks Ticonderoga and Montmorency where Montcalm, the French Army and the militia of Canadiens are victorious.  Finally, Wolfe leads a surprise attack, straight up the cliff beneath the citadel of Quebec, forcing Montcalm to meet him on The Plains of Abraham.  There, in a legendary battle, and a protracted endgame, Canada’s colonial history changes masters.

Pontiac
After the British conquest, the Algonquin allies of the French fiercely resist the New Colonial Order.  Under the leadership of Pontiac, Chief of the Ottawa, the alliance attacks and destroys sixteen British forts, and besieges Fort Detroit for six months.  When the fort is saved by the arrival of British reinforcements, Pontiac’s alliance crumbles, his cause and life at an end. 

The Loyalists
This play dramatizes the events of the American Revolution from the Canadian perspective.  The invasion of Quebec by benedict Arnold and the defense by Guy Carleton (Lord Dorchester) inaugurates the action. The play is also about the creation of Upper Canada, the arrival of the United Empire Loyalists, and the resettlement of the Iroquois Nation under the rule of John Simcoe.

The War of 1812
This play dramatizes the successful defense of the Canadas by the British, and the annexation of the Native American lands by the United States. A play about war is inherently dramatic. The personal dramas of Isaac Brock, Tecumseh, John Strachan, James Fitzgibbons. and Laura Secord illustrate the last colonial war on Canadian soil.

 

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VIDEO

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PRESS
(1986) (2001)

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PHOTOS
(986) (2001)

PROGRAMME
(1986) (2001)

 

     

Music by Brent Snyder