He was known as Louis Riel’s Lieutenant during the Northwest Rebellion, but Gabriel Dumont has rarely been the subject of films, books, TV or theatre.
But the play Gabriel Dumont’s Wild West at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa is about to change all that.
“Sadly because he didn’t write all that much because he’s not a guy who liked speaking in public or wasn’t attracting as much attention as Louis Riel, there’s a big mythology surrounding Louis Riel not as much surrounding or it’s not spoken as much the mythology that surrounds Gabriel Dumont,” said Huron-Wendat actor Charles Bender who is playing the brooding Dumont.
Dumont was Riel’s military leader during the Northwest Rebellion.
After the defeat of the Metis, he joined Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.
“So basically the story is still about the story about the people, the Metis,” said Bender. “And Gabriel Dumont is sort of, I’d say, thestage manager or the director of that show, telling people and edging the characters, the actors on to tell the story.”
The play covers battles and scenes from the relationship between Dumont and Riel – which was rocky at times.
The warrior versus the diplomat.
“There was a lot of tension, a lot of dynamics between these two important historical characters as to how they were going to achieve their goals,” he said.
The play runs in Ottawa Oct. 18 to 21.
After it travels to Montreal, Winnipeg, and Saskatoon.
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