“Keppoch The Last Wake” hits the stage at Mabou’s Strathspey Place on September 16.

MABOU: After three sold out shows in Antigonish, “Keppoch The Last Wake” hits the stage at Mabou’s Strathspey Place on September 16.

The Society for the Ships of 1801 is proud to present a brand new theatrical concert in its annual series entitled Keppoch The Last Wake: Songs and Stories from a Ceilidh House. After quickly selling out three shows at the Antigonish Highland Games, two more performances have been added including Saturday, September 16 at 7 p.m. at the Strathspey Place in Mabou.

Set in the 1930’s, this year’s concert focuses on the Keppoch Mountain in Antigonish County where there was once a thriving community. Like so many rural Nova Scotia regions suffering from out-migration and depopulation, the area is now abandoned except for some summer cottages.

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But, this year’s show celebrates that fact that for nearly 250 years, families and neighbours have gathered in each small community of northern and eastern Nova Scotia for storytelling, song, dance and narrative poems. As the backbone of Scottish culture, ceilidhs have fostered a vibrant culture of oral history and traditional music that continues today.

The concert is a full two-hour long program of original and traditional music, dance, and stortytelling with the cast of 39 men, women, and children in full period costume. The cast includes 21 student-aged performers alongside veteran actors and musicians from the region. Together, these experienced and emerging performers sing original songs and perform an original script of stories, jokes, and history, intermingling traditional fiddling, piping, and dancing.

Tickets are available at: tickets.strathspeyplace.com.

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A St. FX graduate and native of Arichat, Jake Boudrot has been the editor of The Reporter since 2001. He currently lives on Isle Madame.