‘1837: A Farmer’s Revolt’ Opening At Blyth Festival Theatre

"1837: A Farmers Revolt" opens in Blyth Friday night.

A play about farmers fighting for their rights in 1837 opens at the Blyth Festival Friday night, but the play has a history of its own.

Artistic Director Gil Garratt explains, “Paul Thompson and company came to Blyth in 1973, looking for a place to work and they wanted to write this show that they had conceived.   At that time the building upstairs was all but condemned; nobody was allowed to be up there; so they actually had to sign waivers with the township that if the roof fell on their head they wouldn’t sue anybody.”

Garratt says the play is about farmers who worked hard to clear land in the 1830s, only to see it deeded to newly-arrived British aristocrats. So they take up arms and march down Yonge St. to take on the government of York and fight for their land.

Garratt describes “1837: A Farmers Revolt” as an epic Canadian story about a rebellion that features local historic titans like Colonel Van Egmond, William “Tiger” Dunlop and William Lyon Mackenzie.

The play opens Friday night at the Blyth Festival.