One of Canada's best mimes big hit at Warkworth
by Rolly Ethier
All of the village main street in Warkworth was his stage
and Michael Carl O'Neil didn't have to say a word to induce howls
of laughter from spectators, young or old, Saturday.
O'Neil, a professional mime artist from Hamilton, Ont., was
performing at the Warkworth Maple Syrup Festival for the second
"The different is the weather this time around"
said O'Neil who was enjoying doing his Charlie Chaplin Canadian
tramp routine in balmy 60-degree temperature. It was a far cry
from the 2001 appearance when large quantities of snow were still
evident and everyone was still shivering sub-zero weather.
Although everyone was enjoying O'Neil's antics as he stopped
traffic along with the main street in his Chaplin attire to perform
his "squeegee-like" act with a fluffy feather duster,
few realized they were watching one of Canada's very best mimes.
O'Neil and his cast of "Klassic Characters" are
very much in deman in all parts of the globe. He has performed
at functions all over the world, including Expo 90 in Osaka,
Japan and at the International Festival of Clowns in Singapore
in 1999. He was also a performer at the International Performance
Tour in New Zealand to help celebrate that country's 2000 Millennium.
The comic strives to bring the audience into his act, whether
MIME PROVES BIG HIT IN WARKWORTH
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indoors or outdoors, getting the audience to become his extras
and the environment around him to become the set.
Does Other Roles:
In addition to doing his little tramp act with such Chaplinesque
reality, Michael also does living statue sets as Queen Victoria,
Sir John A. Macdonald, and Gen. George Washington, winning rave
review with this style of national comedy.
Jeff Mahoney, in the Hamilton Spectator, writes: "If
only Michael Carl O'Neil could do for some of our present day
politicians what he is doing for Sir John A. Macdonald.
As O'Neil points out he never turns down an opportunity to
perform and thus he has appeared at theme parks, festivals, parades,
art galleries, museums, school and occasions when Canadian heritage,
history, unity and culture is featured.
Those who watched and laughed at O'Neil's antics at the Syrup
Festival activities were watching one of the great mime entertainers
available, proving again that Canada is a national treasure trove
of artistic talent.