Mysterious event coming to Saint Andrews

(Submitted photo) Musician Greg Hoskins, left, and storyteller Stephen Jenkinson will hold a night of grief and mystery in Saint Andrews on Aug. 4 at the W.C. O’Neill Arena Complex.

SAINT ANDREWS – Mystified and mystifying is how artist Stephen Jenkinson says audiences feel after attending his performances.

He doesn’t call the Nights of Grief and Mystery a performance. It’s a ceremony, he says.

“Prior to the advent of theatre, we had ceremonializing instead.”

Ceremony, he said, differs from theatre. In theatre, there’s judgment of the performance and, for the most part, the audience does not participate in the proceedings. “Ceremony really requires the participation of everybody involved.”

There is no pre-determined script. Instead, he and his colleague Greg Hoskins take their cues from the audience of the evening and their willingness to participate in the proceedings. They will do just that this week when the duo brings Nights of Grief and Mystery to Saint Andrews.

Jenkinson says the evening has a somewhat feel of an old-time church service, minus the preaching. “There’s a tone of exhortation, I suppose you could say.”

Their events are combination of Hoskins’s songs and stories from Jenkinson’s days, “mostly in the death trade in palliative care.”

“We’re wondering about things, really, how our corner of the world has come to be as strangely wrought and perhaps as troubled as it currently seems to be,” he said.

The ceremony, said Jenkinson, takes a commitment from the audience.

“It’s an idea-driven piece, that’s true,” he said. “We engage with people explicitly. This is not us talking about something that you could check in and check out of during the course of the evening.”

Jenkinson says “it’s a very committed show. That’s a good word for us.”

He says the intended audience is “everybody who’s going to fail at eternity.”

Jenkinson says the biggest factor that drives attendance for he and Hoskins is word of mouth.

“They hear word of mouth about something that’s so unusual, so unexpected. There’s a certain, perhaps, draw that just comes from that.”

Nights of Grief and Mystery takes place in the theatre of the W.C. O’Neill Arena Complex on Aug. 4 beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at orphanwisdom.com.

robertfisher@stcroixcourier.ca

Robert Fisher

Fisher is a writer/author, photographer and filmmaker. Itinerant observer of life. His dog, Lincoln, is a travel companion and has been coast-to-coast with him four times.