The Shaw Festival, as inspired by the works of George Bernard Shaw, has become a regular mainstay in the events calendar for Niagara-on-the-Lake. The 2017 year will be the first as led by new artistic director Tim Carroll, and intends to build upon some of Shaw’s most admired works along with celebrations of other revered classics from Shaw’s contemporary period.
The list for 2017 is extensive. Some of the flagship productions at Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Festival Theatre include:
2017 Shaw Festival Playbill
A response to the canonisation of Joan of Arc, Shaw’s Saint Joan is perhaps Shaw’s only true tragedy piece and has become one of his most revered works.
The classic Gothic thriller that first popularised the helped form the modern vampire myth has been adapted into an adults-only production that aims to fully embrace the dark sexuality and subtle comedy of the Bram Stoker text.
Me and My Girl
This 1930s musical about a working-class cockney who discovers he’s an earl has lived two lives – one as the original production well-received across the 40s and 50s, and the revival from Stephen Fry and Mike Ockrent in the 1980s. This new production riffs off the Fry and Ockrent version for a full musical production, with big numbers like ‘The Lambeth Walk’ and ‘Leaning on a Lamp Post’ making a comeback.
Of course, other theatres in town share in some of the limelight as well. Take these examples playing in the Court House Theatre:
Oscar Wilde’s modern reputation is that of a brazen and cynical wit, a counter-cultural satirist. It’s easy to forget the romanticism and optimism of his children’s tales. The 2017 festival’s Wilde Tales will perform adaptations of four children’s stories by Wilde. Ad an added piece of audience interaction, kids between six and twelve are encouraged to sign up to be part of the on-stage cast.
Androcles and the Lion
The classic tale of pulling the thorn from the lion’s paw became the basis for one of Shaw’s most iconic productions, a Roman-age comedy that acted as a then-incisive commentary on Christianity. The 2017 production aims to be an experimental performance, breaking the fourth wall and making audience members a more direct part of the play.
These plays and several more on the Shaw Festival 2017 playbill calendar will be regularly in performance from April until October.
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