Shaw Festival

In October, the DARTcritics class of 2017/18 saw the Shaw Festival’s production of Alan Bennett’s 1994 historical dramedy The Madness of George III. Cue an impassioned discussion about madness and metatheatricality:  Colin Williams writes, As I enter the auditorium of the Royal George Theatre, I am immediately whisked…

On August 6th we (Caroline and Sarah), had the pleasure of interviewing four astounding actresses at the Shaw Festival: Natasha Mumba, Marla McLean, Fiona Byrne, and Jennifer Phipps. Between them they represent a spectrum of experiences and generations, from Natasha, who is in her first Shaw season, to Jennifer, who pe…

A haunting opening number asks us to “Attend the tale of Sweeney Todd,” and attend it we did, with pleasure. The Shaw Festival’s production of Sweeney Todd, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by Hugh Wheeler, and directed by Jackie Maxwell, transforms the Festival Theatre into the gritty underbelly of Lond…

Imagine if you will, racism, colonialism, sexism, imperialism…and any other “ism” you could possibly imagine being tackled in just one short hour. I give you the world premiere of The Adventures of the Black Girl in Her Search for God, which presents controversial subject matter with brutal honesty and more than a litt…

“And what’s a woman worth? What’s life worth? Without self-respect!” These questions are posed in Mrs. Warren’s Profession, directed at the Shaw Festival by Eda Holmes. Sex work and feminism, two of the show’s themes, are hot-button topics in 2016—I can only imagine the taboos against them when the play was first perfo…

Have you ever seen a rabbit with a pocket watch? A singing mouse? Dancing lobsters? The Shaw Festival’s 2016 season and director Peter Hinton invites audiences to witness these and much more curiousness in a reimagining of Lewis Caroll’s classic novel Alice in Wonderland by director/adaptor Peter Hinton. Jay Turvey, Ke…

Sarah Bradford writes: No talk of kings and queens, nor of heroes and dastardly villains — the Shaw Festival’s 2016 production of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town places a spotlight on ordinary people in an extraordinary way. Director Molly Smith strips to its essence an American classic about life, love, and death. Dr. Gibb…

April 28, 2016 Maria Evers and Michael Fusillo write: We two were granted one last opportunity to visit our friends involved with Mrs. Warren’s Profession. The cast and crew were not called for any work in the Royal George Theatre on that particular day, so the ensemble made use of their Festival Theatre rehearsal spac…

This review has been written in the context of the 2015-2016 Brock University Department of Dramatic Arts’ Theatre Criticism course. You can read another point of view on this production here.  Peter Hinton’s 2015 Shaw Festival production of Pygmalion casts a new light on a classic script by festival namesake George Be…

The Shaw Festival is coming into the last few months of its season, but it is not too late to experience the energetic and captivating ensemble work of the casts of both The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide To Capitalism and Socialism and the Key To the Scriptures (my review of which you can read here) and The Divine: A…