A new play about John McCrae and the writing of In Flanders Fields is set to open in the backyard of McCrae House on Thursday, July 2. A Night in Flanders will run from July 2 to August 8, with performances Wednesday through Saturday each week.
Written by local playwright Don Macrae, the play is set on the night of May 2nd, 1915, the day before John McCrae composed his famous poem. It opens with McCrae returning to his dugout exhausted following the burial of his fallen comrade Alexis Helmer. He closes his eyes to rest, and has a vivid dream. In the dream, he is visited by the spirit of his mother, and together they grapple with the tough moral and spiritual questions the war has posed.
The play is directed by Ann Stevenson Macrae, and features Paul Pengelly in the role of John McCrae, and Myra Carr Williams in the role of Janet McCrae.
Macrae says that despite the serious subject matter the play has its lighter moments too. “It’s not all serious. There are plenty of humorous moments and the central theme of the piece is hope.
I think people will feel good at the end of it.”
Guelph Museums manager Tammy Adkin says the play is an opportunity to tell McCrae’s story in a new way. “Audiences will learn about McCrae in a way that touches them on an emotional level,” says Adkin. “In a city that values culture the way Guelph does, it makes lots of sense to bring history and the arts together. I think the end result is going to be really special.”
Tickets cost $20 and can be purchased at guelphmuseums.ca.
McCrae House is located at 108 Water Street.