The Road to Charlottetown


80 pages
ISBN 0-920976-41-7
DDC C812'.54




Reviewed by Ian C. Nelson

Ian C. Nelson is assistant director of libraries at the University of
Saskatchewan, and président de la Troupe du Jour, Regina Summer Stage.


Milton Acorn, an irreverent Governor General’s Award–winning poet
who died in 1986, assembled a motley group of characters between 1975
and 1976 to write The Road to Charlottetown, a review of the history of
Prince Edward Island in song, sketch, and satire. He did this with the
aid of Cedric Smith, who helped to shape and arrange the poetry and
narrative and who is now responsible for having produced this final text
from four quite variant versions.

The Road to Charlottetown is a cabaret text: as few as four actors can
play the 40 roles, one of which (John Acorn) is an omnipresent
trickster. Written while Acorn was an active member of the Canadian
Liberation Movement, the musical is a celebration of the wily land
tenants’ battles against landowners and bailiffs. Songs and humor
abound. The book is evidently intended to be a literary record rather
than a text for performance, since it has been printed in a limited
edition of 126 copies, with no indication of the music availability or


Acorn, Milton, and Cedric Smith., “The Road to Charlottetown,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 13, 2024,