MEDIA RELEASE July 3, 2012, London, Ontario
The Donnelly Sideshow is a true story of romance, faction fighting
and murder set in and around Lucan Ontario (just outside of London),
where writer-performer Jeff Culbert grew up.
Five members of the Donnelly family were brutally murdered in their homes in 1880, and over 130 years later, the story continues to inspire artists and scholars and to fascinate the general public. Many people know the family as The Black Donnellys, because of the 1954 novel by Thomas P Kelley, but the term is now considered to be derogatory in Lucan. One of the key characters in the Donnelly story is Johnny OConnor, the 13-year-old boy who hid under a bed during the attack and witnessed the whole thing. In The Donnelly Sideshow, Jeff Culbert plays a grown-up Johnny OConnor, who is out to tell the true story of the Donnellys. (Johnny was also a Lucan boy; in fact Jeff and Johnny grew up on the same street in the village.) In the spirit of his mentor and hero Will Donnelly, Johnny doesnt mind using a little showmanship, and in addition to the storytelling and dramatization, he sings four original songs about the feud. And in spite of the gruesome core of the story, he tries to tell it with good humour and spirit, because you gotta keep up your entusiasm or youre finished. He is out to entertain, but also to find whatever form of justice he can salvage, seeing how the legal justice system failed the Donnellys so badly. The Donnelly Sideshow, a play by Jeff Culbert will be the summer theatre feature this July at Fanshawe Pioneer Village. Performances will take place Tuesday to Thursday, July 10 to 12 and again the following week, Tuesday to Thursday, July 17 to 19 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $15.00 each and can be booked on-line at www.fanshawepioneervillage.ca. Advance booking is required. Sponsored by Lerners LLP Shows: Tuesday, July 10th , Wednesday, July 11th and Thursday, July 12th Tuesday, July 17th, Wednesday, July 18th and Thursday, July 19th -- 30 Dont miss these upcoming events Fanshawe Frolic: 1812 Dance Weekend at the Village-Saturday, August 4th & Sunday, August 5th The whole Village is coming to the 1812 ball! Come learn the social dances of the Regency Period with Dance Mistress, Mme. Stephens on Saturday afternoon. Enjoy a country supper in the evening, followed by a period ball with live band, Childgove of Ann Arbor, Michigan. All dances will be easy to learn and to do. Period costumes are encouraged but not required. Bring your whole family back on Sunday afternoon for Family Frolic; more dancing and afternoon tea. Program: Saturday: 10:30 12:30pm Introduction to the Regency Era Dances 2:00 3:30 pm Regency Dances: Beyond the Basics 6:00 7:00 pm Period Supper 7:30 11:00 pm Regency Ball Sunday : 1:00 3:00 pm Family Dance 3:00 3:30 pm Period Tea Tickets: $50.00 + HST per person for the 1812 Ball and supper. Family Frolic on Sunday with regular admission. Book on-line at www.fanshawepioneervillage.ca. Advance booking is required. Fanshawe Agricultural Fair - Saturday, August 18th and Sunday, August 19th Experience all the pleasures of a 19th century rural fair with threshing demonstrations, exhibits, rare breed displays, musical entertainment and classic cars. For more information, contact: Sheila Johnson Executive Director email@example.com 519.457.1296 Fanshawe Pioneer Village FPVMuseum Hayley Clarke Administrative & Marketing Assistant Fanshawe Pioneer Village 2609 Fanshawe Park Rd. E. London, ON N5X 4A1 Ph: 519-457-1296 Fax: 519-457-3364 BIG ON HISTORY. BIG ON FUN!