Mar 05, 2013
By Jane Brown
Mary Walsh has overcome several physical battles to stage her one-woman play “Dancing with Rage,” which opens today at Toronto’s Panasonic Theatre.
A year ago, the Canadian comedian was in hospital in her home city of St. John’s, Newfoundland for several weeks with pneumonia.
Then last June she was hit by a cyclist while getting off a streetcar in Toronto and three of her ribs were broken. Walsh explained, “he was going about 30 miles an hour tearing through there, and he knocked me down, knocked me out, and broke 3 of my ribs. So then I was laid up for another 6 weeks and then I got pneumonia again, because of course you can’t properly breathe. So, it was just a long and dreary story, which I’m glad is over!”
60-year-old Walsh says her ribs are still painful and her mobility is somewhat limited.
But she is able to make all the costume changes needed during her new stage show to portray several of her most famous roles — including princess warrior Marg Delahunty.
The show actually features all of Walsh’s characters from CODCO and “This Hour Has 22 Minutes.” She told Mike Duncan and Jean Stilwell on Good Day GTA on the New Classical 96.3 FM that part of the story involves her character “Marg Delahunty” on a quest to find a child she gave up at birth. “Instead of firing breathing dragons,” Walsh explains, “which is the standard quest, it’s like phone companies and Air Canada and banks. Those are the monsters she has to battle. And there’s a dark part in the middle of the show where Marg is led to believe that perhaps her love child is Stephen Harper.”
Mary says she’s not sure why Newfoundland has produced so many comedians, but, “as Ray Guy, who was a great Newfoundland has often said, we have a genetic pool the size of a pooding bowl. So probably the first couple of fellows who came over, and women, were probably enormously funny, so it just goes on, I think.”