by Dwayne Brenna
Chaos and frivolity abound in the New Albion theatre as a theatre troupe (all of whom have their own issues) bands together in the face of every obstacleâ€¦ and there are many.
Winner, Muslims for Peace and Justice Fiction Prize, 2017 Saskatchewan Book Awards
New Albion follows the lives of the employees of the New Albion theatre in London, England, in 1850, through the journal entries of the stage manager, Emlyn Phillips. Fighting its own reputation, hindered by its location and "sketchy" (at best) audience, as well as a police commissioner who demands "morally upstanding" plays, and a playwright so decrepit and addicted to laudanum that the actors of the New Albion are never sure what to expect, the troupe attempts to put on the best show possible, each and every night. The reader is introduced to the entire company of actors, all of whom have their own set of issues, who consistently band together as a community and family in the face of every obstacle - and there are more than a few of those. As the theatre encounters problem after problem, Phillips must decide how much he's willing to sacrifice for the sake of his passion.
Praise for New Albion:
"New Albion represents traditional storytelling in the best sense of the word: entertaining, careful of the details, and filled with characters who grow into their roles and who worm their way into the heart of the reader. It has just the right tone and approach." - Judges, 2017 Saskatchewan Book Awards Fiction Award