March 20, 2013
By Ian Mather
The Judge advocate Reads the charges as the accused listened in disgust
Employees from Parks Canada set the stage for an interactive play called The Bloody Assizes. Based on a series of trials that took place during the War of 1812.
This trial was a little less harsh and very interactive as the audience members were recruited to be members of the Jury. This trial took place at The Laura Secord Homestead located in Niagara on the Lake, Ontario.
The evening began with Caroline McCormick, President of The Friends Of Laura Secord and a direct descendant of Laura Secord. She spoke about the Laura Secord Legacy Trail. The trail recreates the walk that Laura Secord took in 1813 from her home in Niagara on the Lake to DeCew House in Thorold.
Further information and full details can be found on the Friends of Laura Secord Website
The play got underway with the Judge Advocate General: played by Scott Finlay reading the charges to the accused James Honecker: played by Peter Martin. After the accused is seated Members from the audience were selected and questioned to see if they were suitable jurors. Finlay did a great job questioning the prospective jurors and giving both the jurors and the audience a good laugh.
The cast of The Bloody Assizes:
Judge Advocate General: Scott Finlay Sonia Lampman: Sonia Steckley James Honecker: Peter Martin Corporal Peter Jones: Peter Mitchell Elizabeth White: Elizabeth LeBlanc
The Judge listened to testimony from the plaintiff, witnesses and the accused before the audience members passed judgment on James Honecker.
The audience were asked to get into groups to come up with their verdict.
The judge reads one of the verdicts as James Honecker listens somewhat unconcerned.
The Cast did a great job and the audience interaction really brought out the humorous element.
Hopefully Parks Canada and the Niagara Parks Commission will add a few more of these audience precipitation plays about the War of 1812.
All Images and Video ©Ian Mather 2013