About a year and half ago I was at a conference in New Brunswick that featured a showcase with a great lineup of Atlantic Canadian talent. The highlight of the show was the performance by Andy Jones of the Prologue of his one man show, “To The Wall” which was originally developed for the One Yellow Rabbit Performance Theatre and directed by Charlie Tomlinson. I quickly Googled Andy Jones and maybe I should make it clear that I’m talking about Andy Jones the Newfoundland actor / performer and not the English postman, the American Mazda Isuzu dealer, the Andy Jones who takes improv classes in Chicago, the BMX racer, PC Party candidate or the animation director.
The Prologue that I saw in person was amazing and I wanted to see the show, but wasn’t able to make it to any of the other live performances. But then when I saw the lineup for the film festival this year I saw the show, which is part of the CBC’s performing arts series, Opening Night and I was excited because I knew that I could see it and also see Mike Jones (who, according to legend, saved my marriage and now may break it up, but that’s another story). It’s co-directed by Mike Jones (Andy’s brother) and Moya Walsh. They manage to capture a stage show that doesn’t seem forced or too showy. I was expecting something like Jonathan Demme’s Swimming to Cambodia, but it’s not as showy, which can be distracting. A testament to the power of the performance (which won Andy the Best Actor award at the Atlantic Film Festival) and the production is that the audience in the movie theatre actually applauded at points during the film…you don’t see that happening too often.
The show deals with issues of God, religion and Newfoundland… and science! Andy has an amazing ability to hold your attention and take you on a journey through topics that fit together and create a wonderful and entertaining tapestry. It will be broadcast on CBC TV on November 13.