Elgin County Heritage Centre hosts a panel on Blyth Festival's production of "Jumbo,"
2 PM, May 16, 2019.
May 9, 2019 - Go behind the scenes at the Festival and meet playwright SEAN DIXON, director GIL
GARRETT, set and costume designer ERIC BUNNELL and GEMMA JAMES SMITH - builder of
the life-sized Jumbo puppet.
The production will be "every bit as big as its subject," says Eric Bunnell who
enjoyed the challenge of designing the sets and costumes.
In the early fall of 1885, P.T. Barnum's Greatest Show on Earth toured South Western
Ontario, playing to sold out crowds. On the bill, among the snake charmer, the aerialists,
the tightrope walkers, the contortionists, and the famous bearded lady, Annie Jones,
were 28 elephants led by the world renowned Jumbo.
Between their stops in Guelph and London, Barnum's circus played the bustling railroad
city of St. Thomas, Ontario to standing ovations. But on that fateful night, when
the circus cars were being packed back up, an unscheduled freight train, travelling
unbreakably fast through the railyard, ended the career, and the life, of the biggest
superstar in the world.
A cast of larger-than-life characters, including PT Barnum himself, Matthew Scott
the elephant trainer, the bearded Annie Jones, and a world-famous taxidermist, fill
this riveting play that brings a Jumbo-sized Ontario history to life, memorializing
the legendary final performance of the most famous pachyderm the world has ever
This panel discussion will give people the inside scoop about how the play was put
together; what the playwright's intent was when he wrote it and how his vision is
carried forward by the creative team.
Elgin County Heritage Centre
460 Sunset Drive
519-631-1460 ext. 193
This event is part of Blyth Festival's Deeper Roots Series of events in celebration
of 45 seasons of producing plays, including 135 world premieres.
Series Co-Sponsors: NWMO and Township of North Huron
Media Sponsor: Rural Voice
Partner: Huron County Economic Development