Thursday, 11 July 2013

See Neddy Norris Night in Cow Head for toe tapping Newfoundland music



by Keith and Heather Nicol   
      Neddy Norris Night is Gros Morne Theatre Festival’s dedicated musical performance and although the show has been running for many years under that name, each year is definitely different. Artistic director Jeff Pitcher told us before the show that some people think that it is going to be the identical  show as in past years and hence don’t come to it. But as we found out even though Stephanie Payne has been the musical director for the show over the past two years, this show is very different than last years. For one thing, the show is “in the round” this year which has the advantage that everyone is abit closer to the singers than in the traditional stage forward setting of last year. Stephanie Payne is an accomplished musician in her own right but also delves into the vast storehouse of Newfoundland songs and tends to present those which are not so well known. On the night we were there (June 23) the house was packed and the crowd was appreciative of the various songs and stories that Brad LeRiche, Miranda Power, Stephanie Payne and Marquita Walsh performed. The audience has the opportunity to hear traditional songs, some performed a cappella and others accompanied by the tin whistle, guitar, bodhran and mandolin. Over the course of the show they sang close to 20 songs as well a comedic story of young man trying to seek his “fortune”. We recommend Neddy Norris Night for its toe tapping look at traditional Newfoundland music performed by an accomplished and energetic cast.  For more information on TNL’s Gros Morne Theatre Festival schedule or to book tickets to a show see- www.theatrenewfoundland.com or call 1-877-243-2899. See the video below for a sampling of this year's music. 


A scene from Neddy Norris Night  (photo by Johnny Cann)
     There are lots of fine activities to do in the Gros Morne National Park area while attending plays in the evening in Cow Head. One of our favourite trips is aboard the Emm Cat which operates out of Norris Point and explores various parts of Bonne Bay. On past trips we have seen minke whales right beside the boat as well as eagles and dolphins. On our most recent trip in late June 2013 we saw several eagles and a huge eagle’s nest.  The tour guides give a lively commentary on the natural and human history of Bonne Bay and they hand out lots of binoculars for people to use throughout the trip. The crew are also accomplished musicians and as the cruise ends they play a mini concert in the main cabin area. You can’t go wrong with this tour and we are looking forward to trying the evening tour later this summer. On four Thursday nights (July 25, Aug. 15, 22, 29) this summer you can catch the Gros Morne Theatre Festival’s Neddy Norris Night aboard the Emm cat. For more information see: http://www.bontours.ca/

Spotting eagles in the trees from the Emm Cat
      If you happen to be staying in Rocky Harbour or Norris Point or at Berry Hill or Green Point campgrounds and would like to access public transport to get yourself to a Gros Morne Theatre Festival production at Cow Head, contact the Festival Box Office 1-877-243-2899 no later than 2 pm on performance day to arrange transportation via the Shuttle Bus. 
Video from this year's Neddy Norris Night 


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