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16 Sep

Keppoch: The Last Wake

  • 7:00pm
  • $25
  • $10 youth 16 and under

Presented by the Society for the Ships of 1801

The Society for the Ships of 1801 is proud to present the 2017 production ‘Keppoch The Last Wake,’ an evening of songs, tunes, stories, humour, and dancing that will have you laughing, crying, and tapping your feet. 

Featuring returning cast members, community favourites, and an array of taletned youth, this year’s production pays tribute to the traditions of our past while keeping them vibrant for our future.

The ceilidh house is the beating heart of Scottish culture in the hills and harbours of northern and eastern Nova Scotia. Bagpipes, kilts, oatmeal porridge and whisky, or the water of life as some believed it,  are all captivating glimpses of the pioneering Scots’ story but it is the often humble ceilidh houses that fostered the oral tradition, allowing a vibrant culture to endure in story and song for almost 250 years. This year’s Ships of 1801 production, Keppoch: The Last Wake, focuses on one such ceilidh house.

High on the mountain, neighbours are gathered for the 50th anniversary of the MacLeans –  Joe, who clings stubbornly to the Gaelic, and his razor-tongued wife, Maggie.  The burdens of hard toil and family struggles slip away as three generations come together for an evening, trading stories, songs, both traditional and original, dance, music, wit, humour and the occasional burst of sarcasm.

The party is in full swing when a call comes in on the new party line, announcing a death on the mountain. Both Scottish and Irish neighbours agree on the importance of a good send-off and take their lead from the deceased, ensuring the wake is as lively as the anniversary party. Many of the original cast from the previous shows are back with several additions creating a full cast of thirty nine performers.


Presented in part by Antigonish Farmers’ Mutual.