In his final hosting of Harbour Theatre’s Gladiators of Wit, Lyle McNish said he had mixed feelings about leaving something he has been a part of for so long.
“I’m really looking forward to the new job, but obviously not without some level of melancholy about what I’ll miss here,” he said.
The show was McNish’s last performance before leaving Prince Rupert to take on chief administration officer responsibilities in Alert Bay. He has been with Harbour Theatre since 1990, and has been involved in approximately 70 different productions during that time. Even though he has been an integral part of the theatre for the past 27 years, he said he was confident he will continue to produce creative and entertaining work.
“I know there’s lots of fun talented theatre people that will keep Harbour Theatre alive and booming,” he said.
The theatre hosted the night of laughter and music on Sept. 15 to help raise money to pay for the new stage that was installed this summer. The show sold out. Audience members were first treated to a live musical performance by Ginger Tut, followed by an improv show put on by the Hook, Line and Snicker troupe with Krista Ediger, Treena Decker, Michael Gurney, Tristan Higginson and McNish.
Gladiators of Wit saw past War of Wits winners Hans Seidemann, Hondo Arendt, Michael Gurney and Carolina de Ryk exchanged verbal blows in a series of sarcastic, barb-filled debates. The topics covered ranged from marketing Prince Rupert as having the country’s longest pothole to the merits of having council members switch roles with school board trustees once per week.
“It was a lot of fun, there was a lot of energy in the room,” said McNish. ‘The combination of the music and the improv and the debate show just seemed to work.”