By Lawrence Badanai
Ten years ago, a tavern went silent. No more applause after wenches scampered off-stage, no host to greet thirsty patrons, and no king with whom to raise a glass or two. It went silent when the Northern Knights Feast closed its doors after playing three successful years at the Capitol Theatre.
The Northern Knights Feast was Thunder Bay’s longest-running theatrical production—“a record that will likely never be broken,” says Colin Stewart (who played Master Richard Bates in the show). The late Rob MacLeod had a brilliantly crazy vision to mount this show that he had been part of in Toronto in the 1970s—a medieval dinner and variety show where the audience spends the evening in a 16th century tavern with King Henry VIII. “It was marketed to appeal to the working man, the guys in the baseball hats who would never go to live theatre” says Stewart.
The theatre is now gone, but this August, the doors of the tavern will reopen for two reunion performances. Beside personal memories, “lifelong friendships and collaborations were created there,” recalls Stewart, with fondness. “MacLeod died 10 years ago, and with the demolition of the theatre, it seemed like time to come together again to honour the man, the theatre, and the memories.”
The reunion show will feature many original cast members. “Several have built lives around the world since, but we planned this for the summer so that many could return,” says Stewart.
The Feast Reunion plays August 22 and 23 at The Outpost. Reservations required; $40 for dinner and show. Call Candi at 343-8551. All proceeds to the United Way.