Sorry…….but there was no shortage of laughter at Friday’s opening night of Sorry… I’m Canadian at the Dunfield Theatre in Cambridge. Featuring Neil Aitchinson as Constable Archibald F. Inkster and a multi-talented troupe of performers, the audience was kept in stitches while toe-tapping to the fiddle, step dancing, and Canadian music of all genres.
According to Neil Aitchinson, us Canadians are a very apologetic bunch. “We say sorry when we can’t hear you. Sorry? We ask you repeat yourself. Sorry? Nurses say “Sorry did I wake you?” We are very polite and very apologetic. This is the third incarnation of Sorry and we have to keep changing it.”
The performance begins with Archibald F. Inksker, who rides in on his horse at 24 Sussex Drive and welcomes us to the annual summer gala hosted by the Prime Minister. Inkster opens by telling the tale of his recent tour across Canada searching for Canada’s best local talent. He explains that it was on this journey where he fell upon the quartet, K9 Four from Dog Creek, British Columbia, and invited them to join him at this annual event.
The K9 Four entertained the audience with songs from the Great Canadian Songbook while showcasing melodies famous local talent, from multiple genres, as Finkster made his way across Canada.
“It’s a feel good show from both perspectives. Those of us on the stage feel fantastic when they laugh, sing along, and applaud in such a generous fashion. When we meet the audience after the show, they are feeling great too about being Canadian.” says Aitchinson. “When I start my rant, at the end of the performance, asking why Canadians are always so apologetic, it’s a real lift. We do some exciting music and dancing to finish it off.”
The Ballagh Bunch, from Moncton, NB, kept the crowd’s toes tapping and energized with their step dancing and fiddling. These four Teeswater siblings know how to dance up a storm, and show impressive step dancing technique in the process. Devan (22), Michael (20), Paige (18) and Matthew (13) Ballagh were born to entertain and their beaming smiles will warm your heart.
The show took me back to my kitchen party days, in Gaspe, Quebec, where the energy was high with talented Canadians entertaining us as we sang along.
Alex Mustakas, Artistic Director of Drayton Entertainment, conceived and directed Sorry…I’m Canadian, as well as collaborated with the show’s stars to create a theatre experience that proudly and unapologetically celebrates everything that is uniquely Canadian. Dave Broadfoot, a national comedic treasure, also provided many satiric quips to the script, resulting in a clever, timely production that snaps, crackles, and pops. Broadfoot also penned an all-Canadian ‘wrap’ song that serves-up plenty of laughs.
It was Neil though who stole the show and made Archibald F. Inkster a reality in the minds of the audience. Yes, us Canadians apologize a lot but Finkster displayed another quality that us Canadians are famous for which is the ability to tell stories and laugh at ourselves while doing it.
A former barbershop singer, Aitchinson reveals that his unique accent is not Irish nor that of a Newfoundlander. Born and raised in Harriston, Ontario, Aitchinson has been collaborating with Mustakas and Drayton Entertainment company since its inception back in the 90’s.
Sorry…I’m Canadian is an exclusive performance for the Drayton Group. With such fantastic Canadian talent, locals will surely anticipate more from Constable Archibald F. Inkster and the creative team as this fabulous company continues to flourish.
About Sorry…I’m Canadian at Dunfield Theatre
Sorry…I’m Canadian will consist of eight shows a week from July 10ththrough August 3rd. Tickets can be purchased online at www.dunfieldtheatrecambridge.com, in person at the Dunfield Theatre Cambridge Box Office, or by calling (519) 621-8000 or toll free 1-855- DRAYTON (372-9866)
We highly encourage you to see it!