This summer Guelph announced it was home to the world’s smallest bar. Welcome to Guelph’s smallest Theatre Company, JayWalking Guelph, whose founder Jay Wilson (bio below) says, “you don’t need a theatre to do theatre.” 

Lilt of Laughter, Trace of Tears is a series of delightful Irish tales featuring an array of characters in amusing situations. You’ll meet Fiddler O’Flaherty, The Widow O’Donnell, The Big and Little Jimmies, The O’Hares, O’Haras, O’Sullivans and even the cat, Frances O’Feline. These charming characters find themselves in outlandish situations that will amuse and delight you.

“Sure is well known the whole of the world would be Irish if it could.” — Fiddler O’Flaherty

In 1998, Jay received a copy of the book, Lilt of Laughter, Trace of Tears. It was written by a longtime family friend, Charlene Herrold. Charlene used to write skits for Galt Little Theatre and Jay was struck by the fact that this book was a series of monologues suitable for performance. As a sometimes participant at The Guelph Guild of Storytellers, Jay presented one or two of these tales as part of events there over the years. This grew into a one-person show.

Inspired by the reaction to the show from sold out audiences at Collingwood’s Porchside Festival, Jay approached Guelph Arts Council with a proposal to perform it locally, and the dates were set. Performances will take place Saturday November 18 at 7pm and Sunday November 19 at 2pm. Tickets are $25 and available through Eventbrite or by emailing Jay at [email protected]

Located at 37 Quebec St., upstairs above Miijidaa (formerly eBar), artBar is the new home of Guelph Arts Council and serves as office space, work space, gallery space and performance space for the Guelph community to enjoy.

For more information visit

Bio – Jay WilsonA lifetime in theatre both as actor and Arts Administrator. Favourite roles include The Witch, Hansel & Gretel; Freida Heitz, The Last Resort (by Norm Foster & Leslie Arden); and Bert McNabb, Fair Play (by Dan Needles). A project with Guelph Museum’s Backyard Theatre program led to “JayWalking Guelph”, storytelling walking tours featuring true tales of murder, scandal and unusual history. Guests visit local limestone architecture and unique locations while Jay recites newspaper accounts, journal entries and 19th century poetry. Lilt of Laughter, Trace of Tears, is not a walking tour but a one man show and a personal favourite of Jay’s. Watch for JayWalking Alton coming 2024 in partnership with the Alton Mill Arts Centre.

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