No Great Mischief

Barbara Zatyko

In November while on a trip to Toronto, I went to see the play No Great Mischief, based on the novel by Alistair MacLeod. It was a foot-stompin’ good time (only in very small measure due to the No Great Mischief Special—Glen Breton single malt at $7. an ounce).

David S. Young’s adaptation and Richard Rose’s direction bring the Cape Breton epic of the MacDonald clan to salty life: the characters cuss, sing, dance, fight and fiddle. Gems like “Don’t run ahead of your trousers!” and “Measure twice, cut once” ring with Highland Scot practicality, but the romance of the Celts is never far and is embodied by the MacDonald dog, who refuses to be left in the old country without his family and throws himself into the Atlantic to follow the boat headed for Nova Scotia.

No Great Mischief is magical and mystical and leaves the taste of Gaelic in the mouth. The performance was well worth the two-hour wait in the snowy rain.

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