The History of the Village of the Small Huts, Parts 1-8


372 pages
Contains Photos
ISBN 0-921368-42-9
DDC C812'.54




Reviewed by David E. Kemp

David E. Kemp is chair of the Drama Department at Queen’s University
and the author of The Pleasures and Treasures of the United Kingdom.


In his preface to this monumental, ironic, and unique vision of
Canada’s past, Michael Hollingsworth explains that Canada is an
Iroquois word, translated as “village of small huts.” What follows
is a superb comedy of manners that satirizes the various colonial
periods of Canada, and in which everything and everybody is grist for
Hollingsworth’s irony, satire, and burlesque. He literally re-invents
Canadian history, and along the way brilliantly uses events from the
past to illuminate the dilemmas and difficulties we face today. He also
proves, once and for all, that Canadian history, at least in
Hollingsworth’s hands, is anything but dull.

This eight-part play chronicles the French and British imperial periods
of Canadian history from Jacques Cartier and Samuel de Champlain to the
end of World War II. Amazingly, Hollingsworth expects its 914 scenes to
be played at the rate of about 60 per hour, by some 407 characters.

Spectacular, complex, brilliant, potent, original, and audacious, The
History of the Village of Small Huts is both frenziedly funny and also a
brazenly serious attempt to address the issues of Canada’s survival.


Hollingsworth, Michael., “The History of the Village of the Small Huts, Parts 1-8,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 20, 2024,