Arts & Entertainment
1 min

Back to the farm

A rural coming-out story onstage in rural Millbrook, Ontario

Nathaniel Bacon stars in St Francis of Millbrook.
“I was very nervous before the public reading. The material is quite risqué for a regional theatre, and I was worried that a more family-oriented audience would be a little freaked out by the subject matter,” says Nathaniel Bacon of his role as Luke in St Francis of Millbrook.
“Thankfully, that wasn’t the case.”
The play is a coming-of-age story about growing up in rural Ontario. Luke’s parents are concerned that he likes the pop star Madonna a little too much and, this being a Sky Gilbert play, with the mother played by Elley-Ray Hennessy, his eventual coming out is pretty much guaranteed.
“This story is intensely personal for me,” Bacon says. “I’m originally from a place called Burnt River, with a population of around 200 people. So it’s really mind-blowing to return to my old life in a sense.”
This is a big break for Bacon, who first came to our attention when he rocked Queer Idol with his vocal talent and his penchant for performing shirtless. “There is an eye-candy element, which involves some great choreography and the removal of some specific items of clothing . . . I’ve said too much,” Bacon teases. “Sky is an amazing artist and an extremely passionate, driven man. He’s been a pioneer for queer rights and a trailblazer in theatre for so many years that I was honestly terrified to meet him. But he’s a very kind, nurturing, funny guy, and he’s been incredibly encouraging and welcoming to me.”
Whatever the rural reaction, Bacon is sure gay audiences will have a great time.
“It’s a liberating, touching story with elements of powerful drama and fantastic comedy. Sky has created a world of very real characters and we have a great group of people bringing them to life. And there will be some very inventive use of a classic Madonna tune.”
The Deets:
St Francis of Millbrook runs till Sat, Sept 1
4th Line Theatre
The Winslow Farm, 779 Zion Line