September 16, 2015

A new comedy and a new music series

As published in The Erin Advocate

This past weekend was a fine one for entertainment in Erin, with a new comedy opening at Century Church Theatre and the first concert presented in a new monthly folk music series at the Busholme Inn.

The theatrical offering is A Bench in the Sun, written by Ron Clark and directed by Jo Phenix. Young folks could well enjoy the show, but it is probably funnier for those who can relate to the antics of two grumpy old men competing for the attentions of a mature actress who moves into their retirement home.

Neville Worsnop plays Harold, a dapper fellow who is very proud of his life’s adventures, and never ceases to brag about them to his childhood friend Burt, with whom he now shares a sunny bench.

Wayne Moore plays Burt, a retired accountant who is fixated on his newspaper and haunted by a conflict from his past. He naps so often that he wears pajamas all day – this is, until he takes an interest in Adrienne, played by Vickie Forsyth.

The aging movie star has a glittering hair-do and a relentlessly sunny disposition, which certainly perks up the lives of the menfolk – whose previous entertainment consisted of antagonizing each other with constant arguments.

Michelle Moore provides the voice of the retirement home PA announcer, introducing each scene with slice of seniors humour.

Neville Worsnop, Wayne Moore and Vickie Forsyth
The story is about the frailties of advancing age, and the frustrations of relationships at any age, all simmered together in a stew of puns, witty wordplay and physical gags. And while true love remains elusive, the two men are eventually able to resolve a long-standing conflict.

It is a mellow comedy, and sometimes that’s just what the doctor ordered. The show continues this Friday and Saturday evening, and Sunday afternoon. Go to for more details.

Meanwhile, at the Busholme, Erin was treated to the fine voices of Tannis Slimmon from Guelph, and Clela Errington from Toronto. Each had their own sets, but provided backup vocals for each other on selected songs.

It was the first in a series of monthly concerts called Erin Roots, organized by Folk Roots Radio host Jan Hall of Hillsburgh. She’s promising a broad mix of folksy / bluesy / alternative acoustic music.

Clela Errington
Clela Errington’s music leans towards soulful jazz – passionate and upbeat, but very relaxed, with some nice ukulele and harmonica work to supplement her guitar playing.

Her voice has a huge range, and she’s able to sing lightly, but with richness and power at the same time. She has four albums, the most recent being More Love and Happiness.

Tannis Slimmon is well-known on the folk festival scene, both as a solo artist and as part of various groups including The Bird Sisters, during a career of 30+ years. She has a way of engaging and uplifting an audience, whether the song is happy or sad.

Tannis Slimmon

In 2008 she was named Contemporary Vocalist of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards for her album Lucky Blue. Her 2013 album In & Out Of Harmony was produced by her musical partner Lewis Melville, who provided the second guitar and vocals during Saturday’s concert.

Melville is a wizard with his guitar improvisations, and he’ll be back on October 24 for the next Erin Roots concert, teaming up with Ian Pattison in Banjo Mechanics. Also featured will be the blues guitar and cello duo of Dennis Gaumond and Jen Gillmor, who go by the name Jennis.