David French’s Leaving Home

Get Tickets Here

About the Production

Set in 1950s Toronto on the eve of a shotgun wedding, Leaving Home is a play about love, loss, and intergenerational conflict. Fifty years after its legendary debut, David French’s moving and personal depiction of the fraught relationship between parents and their children continues to speak to what it means to be part of a family. 

Staged in the round for a limited audience, our production features an all-star local cast, award-winning designers, and the return of Matchstick’s core team.
Join us in Breaking Circus’ beautiful venue (2164 Barrington Street) for this rare opportunity to experience one of Canada’s greatest dramas.

The performance runs for 2 Hours,
including one 15-minute intermission.

The play is recommended for mature audiences.

The space is wheelchair accessible and has an accessible, gender-neutral washroom.

You can find more on Matchstick’s Accessibility
and Content information for
Leaving Home by clicking here.

We would like to acknowledge the support of Arts Nova Scotia and the
Canada Council for the Arts.


Shelley Thompson as Mary Mercer
Lou Campbell as Ben Mercer
Sam Vigneault as Bill Mercer
Hugh Thompson as Jacob Mercer
Abby Weisbrot as Kathy Jackson
Sharleen Kalayil as Minnie Jackson
Sébastien Labelle as Harold

Directed by Jake Planinc
Stage Managed by Chelsea Dickie
Produced by Alex Mills

Designed by

Alison Crosby
Jordan Palmer
Wesley Babcock
Kaelen MacDonald

Assistance from

Accent Coach Sherry Smith
Dance Coach Jade Douris-O’Hara
Accessibility Consultant Sara Graham

Poster by

Classic Graphic Co.

About David French

David French (1939-2010) is one of Canada’s best-known playwrights, having won many awards for his plays, particularly the Mercer family series: Leaving Home, Of the Fields, Lately, Salt-Water Moon, 1949, and Soldier’s Heart. Other works of note include the backstage comedy Jitters, a translation of Anton Chekhov’sThe Seagull (with Donna Orwin), and the pool hall drama One Crack Out. He was born in Newfoundland and spent much of his life between Atlantic Canada and Toronto. French was the first inductee in the Newfoundland Arts Hall of Honour. He also received the Queen’s Jubilee Medal
and was named an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Leaving Home is a landmark play in Canadian theatre history. After its premiere run as part of Tarragon Theatre’s inaugural season in Toronto (1972), the play went on to be produced at nearly every regional theatre in the country — the first Canadian play ever to do so. It also received many international productions, including an off-Broadway run. Today Leaving Home is taught in high schools and universities across Canada. It has been named one of the “100 Most Influential Canadian Books” (Literary Review of Canada) and one of the “1,000 Essential Plays in the English Language” (Oxford Dictionary of Theatre).

For more information on the playwright’s life and work,
we encourage you to check out