Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Mary Walsh Tours One-Woman Play 'Dancing with Rage' after Physical Setbacks

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Mary Walsh Tours One-Woman Play 'Dancing with Rage' after Physical Setbacks

Article excerpt

Mary Walsh tours play after ailments


TORONTO - Like her comical warrior princess TV character Marg Delahunty, Mary Walsh has felt like she's been in battle in recent months -- but of the physical variety, not the political one Marg is known for.

A year ago, the riotous satirist from the CBC-TV's "This Hour Has 22 Minutes" -- who unveils her touring one-woman play "Dancing with Rage" in Toronto on Tuesday -- was in hospital in her home city of St. John's for several weeks with pneumonia.

The illness forced her to cancel the run of the show at Theatre Passe Muraille in Toronto.

Then last June when she was visiting her son in Toronto, she was hit by a cyclist while getting off a downtown streetcar.

"He was going about 30 miles an hour, really seriously, he was tearing through there and he knocked me down, knocked me out and broke three of my ribs," Walsh, 60, recalled in a recent interview at the offices of Mirvish Productions, which is running the play here.

Walsh said the incident happened a day before Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was accused of driving past open streetcar doors and talking on his cellphone at the wheel.

It was an eerie coincidence, given her headline-making incident with the mayor in October 2011.

That's when she confronted him in the driveway of his house, in character as Marg the audacious politician ambusher, to interview him for a comical "22 Minutes" segment -- and Ford called 911.

"So it was good that it wasn't Mayor Ford who was coming through, only a guy on a bicycle," Walsh said with her hearty howl.

"It was the first time I felt some sympathy with Mayor Ford about (his feelings toward cyclists) because I felt, 'Come on!'"

Walsh's troubles weren't over yet, though.

About six weeks after being hit by the cyclist, she got pneumonia again.

The Gemini Award winner, who's received the Order of Canada and a Governor General's Performing Arts Award, said her ribs are still painful and her mobility is somewhat limited.

But she is able to make all the costume changes needed to portray several of her most famous roles -- including Marg, Dakey Dunn and Connie Bloor -- for "Dancing with Rage. …

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