This August, the Basilica Heritage Foundation welcomes you to “journey back to the late 1840s and experience an unforgettable one-man play and guided tour of the Basilica of St. John’s the Baptist.”
Actor Michael Nolan assumes the role of Bishop Michael Anthony Fleming — one of the most celebrated Newfoundlanders of the 19th century, and the first Roman Catholic Bishop of Newfoundland, who worked tirelessly to improve the lives of his parishioners and his community.
Fleming’s most lasting legacy is the St. John’s landmark, the Basilica of St. John the Baptist. Fleming spent five years securing the land on which to build, and oversaw the massive project with great persistence and collaboration.
Actor Michael Nolan will guide you through the Basilica — which was the largest cathedral of its date in the New World. As he recounts the early days of the Basilica, you’ll learn about its social and cultural significance, and about the formative and often turbulent history of the young Colony of Newfoundland.
“It’s a fun challenge to play a man who has been designated as a person of National Historic Significance and who shaped so much of St. John’s history and culture,” says actor Nolan.
“Fleming wasn’t just a Bishop – he was a real advocate for the people, and for the colony of Newfoundland. I feel honoured to be able to share his story with people who may not know it.”
Organizers are happy to report that early feedback for Fleming has been “overwhelmingly positive, with many people surprised to learn how much work and dedication went into building this landmark. Comments by audience members include, ‘the best $10 I’ve spent in a long while,’ and, “I had no idea the place had such a story.'”
“Fleming” has a charge of $10 cash at the door, with the funds helping to raise funds for restoration.You can catch “Fleming” every day except Sundays and Mondays, at noon.