Michael Clarke has gone solo before and done multiple parts in the same production so this isn’t necessarily anything new for him. But putting himself out there in The Journey is both a reflection of his own life and the current state of theatre today as the industry attempts to slowly rebound from the implications of the pandemic with smaller casts.
The Journey, Clarke’s second solo theatre concert, runs from March 17-April 3 at the Chemainus Theatre.
“It’s not anything new that I’m doing where the performer inhabits all the characters,” said Clarke, who has called Crofton his home base for the last few years.
Clarke’s journey is a biographical concert, playing on his talents as a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist with music and storytelling. The stories are uplifting and focus on his journey immigrating to Canada, growing up in Toronto, moving to Vancouver Island and discovering his passion for music and performing.
Clarke arrived from Toronto to perform in Rock Legends and Kim’s Convenience where he played several roles at the Chemainus Theatre Festival. He decided to stay put and has enjoyed life on Vancouver Island ever since.
Clarke indicated The Journey is a solo theatre concert based on his life, spanning five decades.
“It tells my story of immigrating alone from Jamaica to Canada at five, learning to play football and the saxophone at 12, singing gospel at 15 before being introduced to theatre at 19,” he explained. “Performing the story I get to bring to life the people I met along the way, share the pivotal experiences that shaped my character and perform the music that I was inspired to write.”
While writing the show, Clarke reviewed all his personal information and what to include. He didn’t want to hold back any experiences of significance.
“All of them collectively make me who I am,” Clarke indicated. “Even the bad ones you end up loving when you write about them. Sometimes the bad ones are the ones that change you more.”
Executive chef Benji Terlien actually met and spoke with members of Clarke’s family to get ideas for the menu in the Playbill Dining Room for the show.
Tickets are available for matinee and evening shows for all-ages by calling the box office at 1-800-565-7738 or online at chemainustheatre.ca.