The Author The Play

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The Thirteenth One had a world premiere at the Blyth Festival in 2005. Productions of the play were also seen in Kingston and Peterborough.

What would you do if, during the Depression, you are the poor mother of twelve children, some of who need medical attention, when a rich childless woman comes to you and is willing to help you save your farm if you give her your unborn child, THE THIRTEENTH ONE???

London’s own Denyse Gervais Regan brings us THE THIRTEENTH ONE, an account of her own family’s determination to make it through the Depression despite failing crops, a ruthless bank manager and too many mouths to feed. Mama already has twelve hungry children, and is pregnant with the thirteenth one when she receives a visit from a wealthy neighbour who is eager to adopt a baby from her destitute neighbours.

The unbreakable bond between mother and daughter is sorely tested in this stunningly honest and beautiful story.

Compelling theatre and a message of hope, love and solidarity in the family.

"The Thirteenth One was our largest play and biggest box office hit of the season (96% attendance) with a cast of 6 adults and ten youth." -- Eric Coates, Blyth Artistic Director (2005)

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U.W.O. Children's Theatre presented The Thirteenth One as a workshop production in May of 1994 under the direction of Mary Neil. Mary is seen on the far right, Denyse is in the front seated next to her daughter, Joanne Parsons, who played Marie Louise, (Maman). Her baby girl, Meghan Parsons, played Celine, #12 in the family. Ted Johnston played Freddi, (Papa) and the late Anna Douthwright, fifth from the right, played the role of Grand-maman.
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On opening night at the Blyth Festival, in 2005, the cast joined up with their character, the living members of the Gervais family, for this photo. “That is the first time, on the Festival stage, that actor and their living character posed together on this stage.” Artistic Director, Eric Coates

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