CONCEIVED BY: Tim Porter
WRITTEN BY: Joel MacMeekin
MUSICAL ARRANGEMENTS BY: The Tweed & Company Ensemble
Based on the true life story of Alexander Graham Bell and his contemporaries, with Canadian Pop Rock Music.
ALECK BELL tells the true life story of Alexander Graham Bell, from his birth in Scotland, to his death in Nova Scotia. Centred around the life, inventions and family of this great man, this story takes an unexpected twist when we delve into what actually happened around the invention of the telephone, and the controversy that still surrounds this great discovery today. Told by a remarkable cast of 9 performers who also play all of the instruments in the show, this musical features only Canadian pop rock music from the likes of BTO, Jann Arden, Arcade Fire, Sam Roberts, Alanis Marisette, The Rankin Family, and many many more.
Artistic Director Tim Porter conceived the idea for this musical after reading a book about Alexander Graham Bell and becoming truly fascinated by his life. Bell is known for inventing the telephone but also had a string of other achievements, not the least of which were many world records in manned flight, great work with the deaf, a vibrant family life, and much more. Tim began to lay out the plot for the show, and read and researched all the material that he could get his hands on.
It was during this research that a lot of questions came up surrounding the invention of the telephone, and Tim discovered the many different schools of thought on the subject. There are whole universities in the US dedicated to the fact that Alexander Graham Bell did not invent the telephone. There are many books written about this very event and about his competitors. It really is a fascinating subject, and became a truly fascinating musical when Tim wrote the plot outline in 2010. From there, he teamed up with good friend and company member Joel MacMeekin, who took on the task of writing this epic script. Joel worked quickly and steadfastly, and he and Tim met often to choose music for the production and finalize script elements.
In 2011, ALECK BELL received it’s premiere production at the Marble Arts Centre in Tweed. Although technically a workshop of the piece, the production was fully staged, and had very high production values for a small regional theatre. The show was a smashing success, selling out performances and garnering rave reviews both from the critics and from the audience. The show was such a success that it was picked up for the following season by the Stirling Festival Theatre for a two week run, and was also transferred to the Brockville Arts Centre for a weekend engagement.
ALECK BELL is definitely Tweed & Co.’s most ambitious project to date, and also our most successful. Be sure to watch for more from this remarkable musical in the near future.
“IF YOU ONLY SEE ONE SHOW THIS YEAR, SEE ALECK BELL. Christopher and I have done nothing but talk about Aleck Bell. There was certainly no dead silence on that car ride home. The word genius was thrown around a lot. There are not enough nice words to describe our evening out. We LOVE Aleck Bell. Not only do we LOVE the musical, it has triggered our curiosity to learn more about this amazing man, Alexander Graham Bell. If we could, we would attend every single show in Stirling.”
-Tristan Lindsay, themiddleagedwomanwholivedinashoe
“Every once in a rare while, a quiet show comes along that takes the stage and audiences by storm. Such a show is the current IANA Theatre Company’s “Aleck Bell”. This production is done with wit, humour, enthusiasm and tons of talent by a youthful cast of eight. The choreography is spectacular. With young talent like this, the future of Canadian theatre is in good hands.”
-Jack Evans, The Belleville Intelligencer