Hats-off to 1864: The Tall Hat Chronicles

The cast of 1864: The Tall Hat Chronicles from left to right, Josh Weale, Alicia Altass, Rob MacDonald, Hectare the tree, Graham Putnam, Lennie MacPherson. Mitchell Peters photo.
The cast of 1864: The Tall Hat Chronicles from left to right, Josh Weale, Alicia Altass, Rob MacDonald, Hectare the tree, Graham Putnam, Lennie MacPherson. Mitchell Peters photo.
By Mitchell Peters
Sept. 18, 2014

It’s 1864, the night after the confederation meeting. The stage looks like a bloody battlefield as the lights on the stage slowly rise like sun-up. The Fathers of Confederations are lying scattered across stage.
Dead?
No, never mind, just hangover.
1864: The Tall Hat Chronicles is a P.E.I. made satire based on the famous gathering that led to the creation of Canada. It was written by Josh Weale, Lennie MacPherson, Graham Putnam and Rob MacDonald. The four authors also act in the play along with Alicia Altass.
“A year ago we began preparing, at the time we also had a Christmas show to juggle. It was just the four fellas, we all wrote it up and we cast Alicia,” said actor/playwright Josh Weale.
“We were initially just writing a bunch of unconnected sketches, but Graham Putnam brought the idea of using a ‘hangover’ style opening and this gave the show an overall structure.”
The idea came to the crew while fact checking the 2014 celebrations.
“Then we added some humorous exaggerations,” said Weale.
Actor/playwright Lennie MacPherson said “We wrote more than needed for a two and a half hour show. We just began bridging plot lines and connecting ideas.”
Weale cut in. “It’s a long lead up, we have been performing since July, and had a long writing period.”
“The writing period took about a year”, he said, “which is a little long for a play.”
Despite all this work and preparation the show continues to evolve with every show night said MacPherson. “As the show goes on we play with each other and as the characters develop dialogue is added or changed and the show develops.”
The show runs every Wednesday and Saturday until Oct. 11. Student tickets are $15, and the show features a licensed bar. Visit the http://www.theguild.com or call 902-620-3333 to purchase tickets. The group also plans a Christmas play for this holiday season.

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