Blood on the Moon


Fringe 20th Anniversary Series

In the year 1868 in the frontier town of Ottawa, James Patrick Whelan stood accused of the murder of Thomas D’Arcy McGee, a fellow Irish immigrant and former leader of the Young Ireland rebellion who had since risen to become one of Canada’s most influential politicians. The evidence against Whelan was purely circumstantial, yet led him to his death before thousands of jeering spectators in what would become Canada’s last public hanging. Some 135 years later, Whelan’s ghost still haunts the streets of Ottawa, determined to prove his innocence and rewrite the history books. The murder, widely believed to be the result of a Fenian plot, remains a pivotal moment in the rich and varied history of the thousands of Irish immigrants to Canada. Pierre Brault’s gripping drama explores this most fascinating episode, laying bare the Irish passion for the homeland, and the sacrifices made in its name.

Premiering at the 1999 Ottawa Fringe Festival, Blood on the Moon has played to sold-out houses at the National Arts Centre, across Canada, and in Ireland – becoming one of the most successful productions to come from the festival. Seventeen years after its debut Pierre Brault brings the production back to Arts Court – the actual site of the historical trial of James Patrick Whelan – where it all began…


Best Actor – Capital Critics’ Circle Awards
Best Actor – Montreal English Critics’ Circle Awards


“An utterly splendid performance… Brault is pure actor… a pleasure to watch.” – The Sunday Independent (Ireland)

“Pierre Brault’s one man hurricane of politics and history and injustice… is a towering performance… Excellent.” – CBC Radio

“Brault’s bravura one-man performance confirms what acting is all about. He’s riveting from beginning to end… Blood on the Moon packs the short, sharp, clean and precise punch of an assassin’s bullet.” – Kitchener-Waterloo Record

“Riveting… a tour de force… Brault also deserves plaudits for his script, which melds elegant prose and touching poetry with some surprisingly comic touches.” – London Free Press