Secret Of The Spyglass!

Surprisingly, I had never taken to the main stage prior to Grade 13 in High School when we performed Secret of the Spyglass by William Pendergrast, a one-hit wonder playwright. I auditioned and won the role of Simon Cataract, an evil Squire who got to kill, kidnap and attempt to blow up Fort Henry in Kingston. It was a truly horrid melodramatic comedy with badly-punned character names, wretched writing (best line: "Don't worry Miss Daisy, your Dick will come for you!") and awkwardly contrived subplots. Needless to say, we had a musket ball with it!

The cast included several neophytes to the theatre such as, fellow bridge player & future Priest, Dianne McLean as the head Pirate, my murder victim, Barry Goodwin as Daisy's uncle and the Luscious Liz Hunt as darling Daisy with whom I fell in unrequited love both on & off stage.

We were in competition with the other Peel High Schools including future pouf & Kid in the Hall, Scott Thompson starring in The Boyfriend. (They won it, natch.) I recall the adjudicator singled out my performance as truly over the top (in a good way) and praised my improv skills by yelling out "BANG!" when the sound effects guys miscued the firing of my blunderbuss.

All in all, we had a marvellous time doing the play and it put me on the fasttrack to a lifetime of performance anxiety!

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