Evan Walsh searches for solace in his grandfather’s meticulously-kept diaries when he moves from a dairy farm in Newfoundland to Toronto.
Should you see it?
Not too long ago, Evan Walsh found out that his grandfather had been keeping journals almost all throughout his adult life, since the 1940s. In this time period, Grandfather Walsh left the small Newfoundland town of Calvert for St. Johns. As Evan gets accustomed to his new life in Toronto, he finds that he shares more than expected with his grandfather.
Evan Walsh can put on a fantastic variety of Newfoundland accents, and it’s lovely to listen to him talk. However – and this may come down to opening night nerves – I felt like he was oddly disconnected from his material. It was almost like he was telling a story that wasn’t his own, even though it clearly is personal. Autobiographical shows have a tough balance to strike: it has to feel real while also feeling polished. When the scales are tipped either way, you end up with something that either feels sloppy or over-rehearsed. This is the latter.
Newfound Histories was a nice collection of tidbits that draws parallels between the lives of two relatives. This is a show that could be much improved if Walsh could connect more with the audience. As it is, he sits at a table for most of the performance, speaking to an invisible person. Had he recognized the audience and spoken directly to us, I may have been more on board with the stories he was telling.
But that’s just my opinion, and I’d love to know what you think! Did you connect with Newfound Histories? Join the discussion in the comments below.