Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Uncle Val Goes West

Jones finds laughs at the outpost
Stephen Hunt, Calgary Herald
Wednesday, January 09, 2008


An Evening With Uncle Val by Andy Jones runs tonight and Thursday at the Martha Cohen Theatre. Tickets available at Ticketmaster

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Newfoundlanders have always been pretty exotic for the rest of Canada. What's surprising is that outport Newfoundlanders -- those eccentrics who live in remote hamlets -- seem just as odd to Newfoundlanders themselves.

That was the inspiration behind Andy Jones' latest one-man show, An Evening With Uncle Val, that the comedy veteran is performing as part of the High Performance Rodeo tonight and Thursday night.

"I've always seen outport Newfoundland as a very exotic place," Jones says, over the phone from St. John's, where he grew up in the 'burbs.

"It was the source of so much inspiration for Newfoundland artists. All the storytellers, all the musicians -- so many of them."

The plot of An Evening With Uncle Val concerns an old outport Newfoundlander named Val, who is forced to spend time in St. John's to have eye surgery. At first, Val writes to the folks back home about how much he hates St. John's, but as time goes on, his opinion of the place changes and he doesn't want to leave. In a way, it mimics the migration from the country to the city (and beyond) over the past several decades...

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Letters from Uncle Val, a series of fictional letters from Andy Jones' incomparable comedic character of the stage play An Evening with Uncle Val, is available from Rattling Books. Written and performed by the author.