Matchstick Theatre presents Leaving Home by David French

  • March 20 - 31, 2024
  • Breaking Circus

    2164 Barrington Street
    Halifax, Nova Scotia B3K 2Y4
Ticket Price (CAD) $5.00-$30.00 This event is now over

Matchstick Theatre presents David French’s landmark Canadian drama Leaving Home in Halifax, March 20th-24th and 27th-31st, 2024.

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 production runs 2 hours long, including one fifteen minute intermission.

Tickets are $30, with two Pay What You Can preview performances on March 20th and 21st

If a $30 ticket cost is not accessible for you, please either e-mail us at, or fill out our Matchstick Access form HERE to request free tickets to a performance.


Venue Accessibility
Leaving Home plays at 2164 Barrington Street (Breaking Circus’ venue), which is a fully physically accessible performance venue. However the roads and parking surrounding the building are quite messy and complex at the moment, due to massive construction on the Cogswell exchange happening next door. We encourage audience members to please have a thorough read of our Venue Accessibility page (found by clicking here), which details the accessibility aspects in the venue, as well as the best places to park nearby and walk down to the venue ahead of the show, with pictures.

Importantly, if you are a wheelchair or powerchair user, please let us know ahead of time. There is very limited parking available in front of the performance venue, but with enough notice, we will save for those in chairs for easier access.

There will be a small bar available with limited drink options before showtime and at intermission.

Content & Sensory Warnings

Leaving Home is a landmark Canadian family drama which deals with some intense themes, even for mature audiences.

Matchstick’s production of Leaving Home puts audiences face to face with the action of the play, and the design of the performance in arena seating creates an incredibly close and intimate environment. Accordingly, there are some allergy and content warnings that we want to ensure our audiences are aware of.

During the show, food will be served onstage containing small amounts of seafood (haddock fish), cream, leeks, and potato. Depending on seat choice, audience members may be seated anywhere from 3 to 15 feet away from this food, and those with seafood or other food allergies are asked to be cautious and self-govern their comfortability with that distance.  

There will also be one herbal cigarette smoked (in two different instances) during the performance. The cigarettes are a cocoa bean blend, but still smell quite strong.

Anyone concerned with either seafood/food ingredients or smoke/haze is encouraged to sit in our second row, and we will also have masks available on site. We are happy to refund tickets for those who don’t feel comfortable attending with these conditions.

Leaving Home contains intense moments that may make audiences uncomfortable, and the incredibly close nature of Matchstick’s production may heighten this experience. 

In order to not spoil aspects of the show, we have left these content warnings separate, and audience members can opt-in to see them. For those who feel they may benefit from knowing what to expect ahead of time. 

It is not necessary to read our content warnings ahead of the show, if audience members do not want to spoil anything for themselves. 

But we encourage any audience members who feel they may need such a warning to read either our general content/theme warnings, or our specific content and sensory warnings. Both of those can be found 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

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's The 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

Date & Time

Mar. 20 - 31, 2024

Venue Details

Breaking Circus

2164 Barrington Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3K 2Y4 Breaking Circus
Matchstick Theatre

Matchstick Theatre revitalizes classic Canadian plays and produces challenging contemporary theatre. We strive to ignite, affect, and ultimately transform our audience with every performance.

Matchstick Theatre is a professional Kjipuktuk/Halifax-based theatre company with three core members: Managing Director Chelsea Dickie, Financial Director Alex Mills, and Artistic Director Jake Planinc. Since coming together in 2017, we have produced 10 Canadian plays, multiple play readings, and two concerts, offering a platform that supports emerging and established local artists. We have collaborated with 10 local and nationally renowned playwrights, 20 backstage theatre artists and designers, and more than 40 local actors.


Links & Contact Details

Contact E-Mail
Matchstick’s Website

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