Monday, August 15, 2022

Benjamin Evan Ainsworth is the Son of a Critch

Benjamin Evan Ainsworth

The CBC has renewed Son of a Critch for a second season.  I viewed the first season and enjoyed it immensely.  Son of a Critch is an original comedy based on comedian Mark Critch's award-winning, best-selling memoir Son of a Critch: A Childish Newfoundland Mermoir.  The TV series was created by Critch, along with Tim McAuliffe, a Montreal-born comedy writer and television producer.       

Critch, a native of St. John's Newfoundland, is known as a co-host of CBC's 22 Minutes, which features political and social satire as well as comedy sketches.  In Son of a Critch, he serves as narrator and portrays his own father, Mike.  The cast also includes child actor Benjamin Evan Ainsworth, who portrays Mark as a boy,  P.E.I. actress Claire Rankinplays as his mother, Mary Critch, veteran actor Malcolm McDowell as his grandfather, Patrick "Pop." Critch and Colton Gobbo as his older brother, Mike Jr. 

Below is a photo of the cast:  From left to right - Claire Rankinplays, Mark Critch,  Benjamin Evan Ainsworth, Colton Gobbo and Malcolm McDowell.

I've been particularly struck by Benjamin Evan Ainsworth's performance as the young Mark Critch.  After watching his portrayal of Mark as a schoolboy in the Newfoundland of the 1980s, you'd never guess that Benjamin is really a Yorkshire lad who prefers rugby to hockey. and Liverpool FC tickets for life to free concert ticket.  On Son of a Critch, you don't hear a trace of the English accent he displays off the show.

Benjamin was born in Nottingham, East Midlands, England on September 25, 2008.  He is being raised in Yorkshire and he attended the Northern Lights Theatre Drama School in Hull.  For one so young (he is about a month shy of his 14th birthday), Benjamin has an impressive list of acting accomplishments to his credit.  In 2018, when he was ten years old,  Hw made his first appearance on British television, on the ITV soap opera Emmerdale.  That same year, he appeared in a production of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert on board the Norwegian Epic cruise liner and has portrayed major characters in professional and musical stage productions.

Benjamin played Jacob in the award-winning short film The Recycling Man (2020).  He starred in the the limited Netflix series, The Haunting Of Bly Manor (2020) as the deeply troubled orphan, Miles Wingrave, for which he earned critical acclaim.  He also voiced the lead character in the 2021 Disney live action remake of Pinocchio, opposite Tom Hanks.  His first film credit  was the 2021 Disney+ film Flora & Ulysses. 

Son of a Critch is a coming-of-age comedy.  It chronicles young Mark's experiences as he attends a Catholic school St. John's.  The boy is faced with many challenges, including a somewhat dysfunctional family.  He also has to deal with being bullied by members of the red-headed Fox family.  However, he has the companionship and support of his best friend, Ritchie Perez (Mark Ezkziel Rivera), the son of of an immigrant Filipino family.

In a Vibe Check YouTube video, Benjamin answers some rapid fire questions.  When asked to describe his Son of a Critch character in three words, Benjamin replies "Heartfelt, witty. ..  and old."  He says that young Mark is "11 going on 60" and "is older than his years."  

In the video, Benjamin reveals that his favourite movie is Forrest Gump and that he prefers tea to pop.  He says  that his favourite subject in school is Latin.  He jokes that although it's been called a dead language, "it's still Roman around."

Benjamin also has some advice for young actors: "You know, just keep at it, and if you really like it,  and you really enjoy it , and you want to keep doing it, then just show that bravery and courage until you find your lucky break."

Benjamin  Evan Ainsworth is a busy young actor  In addition to his Son of a Critch role, he portrays Alex Burgess in David S. Goyer's epic Netflix fantasy, The Sandman.  In his spare time, Benjamin plays rugby and hockey, and he is a devoted Liverpool FC fan.  He also enjoys singing, songwriting and playing the drums.  Benjamin will soon be celebrating his 14th birthday - on September 25th.  After watching his work, all I can say is that this kid is going places.  He appears to have a bright future ahead of him

- Joanne

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