Spinning Yarns: Tales and Tunes from a homesick Newfoundlander
by Stephen Guy-McGrath
Newfoundland in the early ‘80s: a world of raucous adventures, death-defying escapades, and dubious childcare! This hilarious evening of story and song is a fictionalized biography written and performed by Festival favourite, Stephen Guy-McGrath (‘Bill’ in Mamma Mia!; ‘Sam Phillips’ in Million Dollar Quartet; ‘René’ in Evangeline)
Hear the trials and tribulations of growing up in a family that pulls no punches and takes no guff; seen through the eyes of a boy with an overactive imagination and a desperate desire to “fit in”. Through it all shines a fierce love of family and a boundless longing for home.
From a supposed “near-death birth” to a “final family Christmas”, Spinning Yarns weaves stories with songs and tunes that will make you “laugh ‘til you cry and cry ‘til you laugh”: a gun-toting mother, nefarious plotting brothers, human snowball piñatas, and other items that should definitely not go in the dryer!!!
Featuring traditional Newfoundland fiddle tunes and well-loved songs such as ‘The St. John’s Waltz’ by Ron Hynes, ‘Wave over Wave’ by Jim Payne (popularized by Great Big Sea), and more.
Sensitivity Warning: Haze effects are used in this production
Director, Adam Brazier; Musical Director, Brendan Wall; Scenic Designer, Ken MacDonald; Lighting Designer, Jason Hand; Production Stage Manager, Matt MacInnis; Stage Manager, Erika Morey.
Originally produced by Strange/Momentum Theatre Projects.
“It’s very funny. He creates a whole community of Newfoundland life, and gives us a picture so vivid you can almost smell it.”- CBC Radio Ottawa
“Stephen Guy-McGrath is a dynamic performer…he entertains the audience with boundless energy as he tells stories and fiddles during his one-man show.”- The Kingston Whig Standard
“Spinning Yarns, a winner. With hyperactive sense of humour Guy-McGrath brought down the house with comic tales of growing up in Newfoundland.” – The Record Centinel And Times
“ Hysterically funny…a ripping good time”…“Like a family throwing a kitchen party that we were lucky enough to get invited to…” – The Buzz
RAISED IN: St. John’s, NL For the Centre: Mamma Mia!, Million Dollar Quartette, Evangeline, Anne of Green Gables–The Musical™. Theatre: ONCE (Mirvish and Citadel) As You like it, Christmas Carol, Glenngarry Glen Ross, Three Sisters and others (SOULPEPPER); No Great Mischief (Tarragon)
Shows at CanStage, NAC, Vancouver Playhouse, Theatre Orangeville, The Theatre Centre,YPT and others. TV/Film: Anne with an E, Murdoch Mysteries, Reign, Mayday, Stockholm
Other: National Theatre School, Soulpepper Academy. — @sgmplays
RAISED IN: Harrington, PEI FOR THE CENTRE: Atlantic Blue (2019), Spinning Yarns (2019) THEATRE: Atlantic Blue (The Guild, 2017-18) TV/FILM: Live! With Regis & Kelly (2010); CTV’s Canada AM OTHER: Cynthia ran the popular Brackley Beach Ceilidh series from 2004-13 and has also toured across Canada and the US. From 2013-16, she performed on board Norwegian Cruise Line as a member of the Cynthia MacLeod Trio. Cynthia has released five award-winning solo recordings.
RAISED IN: Palgrave, ON FOR THE CENTRE: JC Superstar, On the Road with Dutch Mason, Ring Of Fire, Dear Jonny Deere, Evangeline, Mamma Mia!, Anne™, Glenda’s Kitchen THEATRE: Once, Buddy! (Neptune); Billy Bishop, Cabaret, The Rocky Horror Show (Aquarius); Caroline, or Change (Musical Stage Company); Beyond Eden (Vancouver Playhouse/Theatre Calgary); The Bricklin (TNB); Grumpy Old Man (MTC); Assassins (CanStage); 4 seasons at the Shaw Festival. — Cam lives out past where the sidewalk ends with the love of his life, Karen.
RAISED IN: Scarborough, ON FOR THE CENTRE: JC Super Star, On the Road with Dutch Mason, A Misfortune, Spoon River. Selected Theatre: Paradise Square (BerkeleyRep); Of Human Bondage, Spoon River, EE Cummings in Song (Signature Theatre New York, Soulpepper); Several shows over 9 seasons at Soulpepper; Once (Mirvish, Dora Award, best ensemble); War Horse (West End production, National Theatre of Great Britain); River: Joni Mitchell (Grand Theatre). FILM/TV: Suits, Reign, Murdoch Mysteries, Flashpoint, Chicago, Hairspray, Boondock Saints II, Anne of Green Gables, Pianoman’s Daughter, Hollywoodland, Orphan.