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COLUMN: It's time to get your Shakespeare on this weekend

Orillia native Hume Baugh says it 'will be great to be back' in the Sunshine City on Sunday to play Falstaff in Henry Five at the Leacock Museum
Hume Baugh
Hume Baugh, an Orillia native, is returning to the Sunshine City to play Falstaff in King Henry Five, will will take place Sunday, July 31 at the Leacock Museum.

We are lucky Orillians this summer, with two chances to enjoy William Shakespeare’s work, right in our own backyard. First chance was end of June, with The Complete Works of William Shakespeare produced by Mariposa Arts Theatre, at the Leacock Museum. I am sorry if you missed that one, it was hilarious and really well done.

Your second chance is coming up this Sunday, July 31 at 7:30 p.m., again at the Leacock Museum. Driftwood Theatre’s Bard’s Bus Tour is coming to town, after a three-year pandemic hiatus, with King Henry Five. This is an adaptation, by Driftwood director Jeremy Smith, of the Shakespeare plays Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, and Henry V.

I had the chance to talk with native Orillian Hume Baugh this week about the play, the tour, and his role in it.

OM: How is the tour going?

HB: It’s going really well. We opened about one-and-a-half weeks ago and we are really finding our rhythm now, and getting into the groove of the setting up and tearing down. Driftwood is a great group of people to work with.

It’s great to perform outside of Toronto, the audiences are different, different personalities in each town, they are interested in seeing theatre as they don’t see as much of it as Torontonians do. It’s very gratifying to see the different response in each audience as we tour.

OM: How will it feel being back in Orillia? Have you been back often?

HB: No, all the family I had here moved away, so I haven’t visited much. I last acted there in 1986. I rented a bike from Complete Rentals a few years ago, and toured around to all my old haunts, that was fun. I actually performed at the Leacock Museum back in the ‘70s when they were putting on a series of one-act plays of Leacock’s works…will be great to be back.

OM: Tell me about your role. You play Falstaff, correct?

HB: Yes, Falstaff. He is both a rogue and someone who has lots to offer, as well. I love his anarchy, his irreverence. He is honest about his failings. He has street smarts, and a certain kind of wisdom. He teaches Hal useful things that are not necessarily the norm. The way that Jeremy has put the plays together, he has taken away a lot of the extra plot points and actors, and boiled it down to just five actors.

This adaptation tells the story of Hal growing up, from a bad kid into a good King, thanks to his relationships with his father, and with Falstaff. It’s a unique version of Shakespeare and of those stories.

OM: Any funny stories from life on the road, so far?

HB: One funny story: we were having problems with my mic one night, it kept making a kind of crackling sound, very annoying. We finally realized that I sweat so much during the show, the sweat was trickling down my back and hitting the mic pack, and causing it to make that noise. The sound tech, very innovative guy, came up with the solution of putting the pack in a baggie, and it solved it perfectly. Very ingenious.

OM: That is a funny story! Thanks for the interview, and see you at the show.

HB: Looking forward to it, it’s a great show in a great setting.

You can catch the Driftwood Theatre production of King Henry Five this Sunday July 31 at 7:30 p.m. at the Leacock Museum. Ticket prices are pay what you can, in a tiered system, and you can find out all about it and reserve your seat here.

Of course, this Friday is another edition of See You on the Patio in downtown Orillia, from 5 to 11 p.m., with patio dining, music, entertainment and more, so check it out.

Creative Nomad Studios is doing an indoor night market this Friday as well, from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Lots of great artisans showcasing their wares, come and shop and buy and support them.

The City of Orillia and the Orillia District Arts Council are teaming up to bring a series of events to neighbourhood parks, this summer. Wednesday nights from July 27 to Aug. 24, starting at 6:30 p.m., each park has a chance to showcase a different kind of entertainment each week. Here is the schedule:

  • July 27 Clayt French Park 975-983 Atlantis Dr. Kids in the Hood with Errol Lee, who will engage youth in music and movement
  • Aug. 3 Hillcrest Park 255 Matchedash St. N. Laughs on the Hill - Improv with the Old Dancehall Players
  • Aug. 10 Homewood Park 68 Woodside Dr. Dance Moves – Latin Line Dancing with Miriam Goldberger
  • Aug. 17 Walter Henry Park 3050 Orion Blvd. Eat Your Art – Edible Art with Nancy Hannah
  • Aug. 24 Victoria Park 75 Coldwater Rd. W Laughs on the Lawn – Outdoor Theatre with the Old Dancehall Players

Follow Orillia & District Arts Council on Facebook for updates related to any changes to programming, or in case of change of venue due to weather. Visit orillia.ca/culture or orilliaartscouncil.ca for more information about the program and participating artists.

Wednesday daytimes, St. James' Anglican Church is hosting Arts in the Summer from noon to 1:15 p.m.

The series kicks off Wed. Aug. 10, when Alan and Sophy Cooper will be performing instrumental and early vocal music. Wed. Aug. 17 Wilhelmina Tiemersma will be playing the organ. Wed. Aug. 24, Paul Gockel will be on organ with Peter Voisey on the English Horn. Admission is by donation, feel free to bring your bag lunch and get a provided cold drink.

The Chris Robinson-Will Davis jazz duo is playing Sunday, July 31 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Couchiching Craft Brewing Co. The Practically Hip is playing Horseshoe Resort Wed. July 27 at 7 p.m. The Cult is playing Casino Rama Saturday at 8 p.m. Kempenfest is on in Barrie all weekend.

Of course, new exhibits at the Orillia Museum of Art and History, and summer theatre continues at the Orillia Opera House. More on that next week.

Stay cool, and enjoy all the fun long weekend things in the area, this weekend.

If you have arts news, send it to annaproctor111@gmail.com by Tuesday at noon to be included.