WingField on Ice is a play and audiobook about Walt Wingfield, an early retiree Toronto Bay Street broker who buys a farm in Peresphone County Ontario. Okay it is a oneman play with Rod Beattie bringing to life all of the various eccentric characters of said county as peopled by playwright Dan Needles. It is also one of the best humor elixir’s to be found in Canada in the past 5 years. And given the Vinyl Cafe series by Stuart MacLean and the continued marvels from Quebec raconteur extraordinaire Yvon Deschamps, this is no small gust of praise.
The Wingfield Farm series of plays have been a national phenomena tapping into Canadian rural routes that stretch from the Maritimes through the Central Canada farm belt to the wafting field of the Prairies and onto the West coast. It has been brought onto the Canadian stage by a triumvirate of playwright Dan Needles, actor Rod Beattie and director Douglas Beattie for over 4000 performances across Canada.
The whole Wingfield Farm series of plays is proof again that audiobooks are a great medium for both plays and books. For example, Canadian/Maltese mystery writer Allan Bradley has a series of Flavia de Luce Mysteries that are truly enhanced by fabulous readings by Jane Entwhistle. Ditto for Rod Beattie’s work here who voices such diverse characters as The Squire, Freddy the stuttering poet, Don the laconic neighboring milk farmer, Mary Hoolihan of romantic twists and even Pookie the gently biting dog feared by those in the Larksburg know.
Humor with a Piquant Twist
It is said that a dash of pungent savoury goes well with droll comedy. This radio listener to Morningside with Pet Gzowski can testify to that having religiously tuned into the program when Peter featured Yvon Deschamps. His stories were so funny but also ironic with a sudden acid yet amusant twist – and so it goes with Wingfield on Ice. This is the story of how a two week long ice storm and consequent power outage changes the Larksburg community temper. Without revealing too much, there is one part earnest endeavor at coping, one part new-found community pluck, and a dash of human tragedy echoed by the crack of ice felled massive trees.
If you are looking for great Canadian humor in the flavour of Leacock , MacLean and Deschamps come to Wingfield Farms and its Letters. If you are scouting for a Christmas gift with a touch of sweet and sour bite, consider Wingfield on Ice here.