Backyard Theatre: RIDGE


GUELPH, ON, AUGUST 14, 2023:  

Backyard Theatre returns to McCrae House this Thursday with RIDGE, written and performed by Brendan McLeod.

In its ninth season, Backyard Theatre has become an annual summer tradition, featuring one-act plays that respond to the life and accomplishments of doctor, soldier, and poet Lt. Col. John McCrae. RIDGE runs from August 17 to 26, with shows at 7 pm Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and 2 pm matinees on Saturdays.

Tickets can be purchased in advance at Eventbrite

Often called “the battle that made Canada,” Vimy Ridge resulted in over 10,000 Canadian casualties. In RIDGE, McLeod examines misconceptions and varying perspectives around the battle of Vimy Ridge, while drawing parallels to other formative events in our nation’s past. Featuring innovative musical interpretations of First World War soldier songs (often referred to as ‘Trench Songs’), RIDGE probes difficult yet necessary questions about how and why we grieve.

“I first visited John McCrae’s house with my parents in the fall of 2019,” recalls McLeod. “I was in Guelph to cheer on my mom, who was participating in the master’s national curling championships. In between matches, we visited John McCrae’s house, and had a reflective time thinking about the First World War and In Flanders Fields. I got to thinking about the very different lives each generation lives. The conditions of the First World War were unfathomable to me. That 20,000 Canadian teenagers fought in the war was even more unfathomable. I wanted to push closer to their experience. To try—impossible as it might be—to understand the world they lived. RIDGE is my best attempt at that. To perform the piece where it began is incredibly meaningful to me.”

“It might seem odd to remember in the middle of summer in a backyard, but remembrance shouldn’t be reserved for one day a year. We should do it constantly. It gives us proper perspective to our own lives, and helps us pay meaningful tribute to those lost too soon,” says McLeod.

RIDGE is written by Brendan McLeod, directed by Julia Course, with music by Brendan McLeod and Julia Glynn.

McCrae House is located at 108 Water Street. It is physically accessible.

For more information:

Tammy Adkin, Manager, Museums and Culture
Culture and Recreation
City of Guelph
[email protected]
519-826-1221 extension 2775



Posted by Devin Hogg on August 15, 2023