Stage Door News

Blyth: Sean Dixon’s play “Jumbo” opens the Blyth Festival on June 14

Monday, June 10, 2019

The world premiere of one of the biggest stories in the history of South Western Ontario, the story of Jumbo the elephant’s fateful final performance, opens the Blyth Festival’s 45th Season. In Jumbo, playwright Sean Dixon, who brought Blyth Festival audiences plays steeped in local lore like The Wilberforce Hotel, Lost Heir, and The Outdoor Donnellys, now focuses on the legendary story that September night in 1885, when P.T. Barnum’s Greatest Show on Earth stopped in St. Thomas, Ontario. 

When the circus cars were packed up, an unscheduled freight train travelling unbrakeably fast through the railyard ended the career and the life of the biggest superstar in the world...but not before he gave his final spellbinding performance.The play bursts on the stage with live circus acts, acrobats, a massive puppet, original music and a vibrant set reminiscent of Barnum’s fabled circus.

“This play will be like nothing we’ve seen before on the Blyth Festival stage. Our Circus Master, Manon Beaudoin, has created a circus within a play that will leave audiences giggling in awe,” said Gil Garratt, who is the artistic director of the Blyth Festival and director of Jumbo.

Returning to the Blyth Festival stage for Jumbo are actors: Peter Bailey (The Wilberforce Hotel and World Without Shadows), Tiffany Claire Martin (The Devil We Know), Michael McManus (Ceili House), Tony Munch (Wing Night at the Boot, Our Beautiful Sons, and many others). Newcomers making their Blyth debut: Kurtis Leon Baker, Julie Tamiko Manning, Lucy Meanwell and aerialist Mark Segal. The creative team for Jumbo is: Eric Bunnell, set and costume designer; Leigh Ann Vardy, lighting designer; Deanna H. Choi, sound designer and composer; and Gemma James-Smith, puppet designer and constructor. Stage management by Heather Thompson and Katerina Sokyrko.

Reserve your seats for this amazing local story by calling the Box Office at 519.523.9300, Toll Free 1.877.862.5984 or online at

Blyth Festival acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Government of Ontario, Season Sponsor Sparlings Propane, and Season Media Sponsor CTV, Season Hospitality Sponsor Cowbell Brewing Company, and New Play Development Sponsor Bruce Power.

Jumbo is generously co-sponsored by Edward Fuels (Production Sponsor) and AM920 CKNX, Classic Rock, and 107.1 The One (Media Sponsor).

AT A GLANCE JUMBO | June 12 – August 10

Written by Sean Dixon

Directed by Gil Garratt

Circus Master Manon Beaudoin

TICKETS: $43 orchestra | $39 balcony | $15 youth | (Previews: $20 adults | $15 youth)

BOX OFFICE: 519.523.9300 | Toll Free: 1.877.862.5984 | Online: 


June 12 – CKNX Night at 8pm – SOLD OUT

June 13 – Preview at 8pm

June 14 – Opening Night at 8pm

Aug. 10 – Closing performance at 8pm 


SSelected Fridays and Saturdays – Enjoy a home-cooked meal served at a local venue at 6:15pm

Tickets are $22 each and may be booked by calling the Blyth Festival Box Office 


Follow us on Facebook and Twitter: #bfJumbo #bf2019.