Shaw Festival 2016

  • ALICE IN WONDERLAND (Magical Musical)

    Festival Theatre
    Music by Allen Cole | Book by Lewis Carroll

    On a summer day in 1862, ten-year old Alice and her two sisters were told a story about a little girl, a white rabbit and a trip down a hole into an astonishing world. The tale of Alice’s adventures underground became one of the best-selling books of all time and this beloved story is brought to life in a newly commissioned adaptation, written especially for the Shaw acting company. Delight in the stunning visuals and theatrical magic as we meet the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, the Mock Turtle and the Queen of Hearts and watch Alice try to make sense of this world of grown-up nonsense. A magical, musical experience for adults and children alike!

    Directed by EDA HOLMES

    In this society, if you want to know what’s really going on, join the women on the terrace at Lady Hunstanton’s country house party. Marriage, affairs, divorce – and, of course, the wickedly attractive and scandalously unmarried Lord Illingworth are all thoroughly discussed. Word is that Illingworth would like to become a diplomat and make the young Gerald Arbuthnot his protégé. But when Gerald’s mother arrives at the party, their world is rocked when her long-concealed secret comes back to haunt them all. Wilde’s witty and piercing look at society’s public values and their impact on private lives.
  • SWEENEY TODD - The Demon Barber of Fleet Street - A Musical Thriller

    Music and Lyrics by STEPHEN SONDHEIM and Book by HUGH WHEELER
    From an Adaptation by CHRISTOPHER BOND
    Originally Directed on Broadway by HAROLD PRINCE

    Two men arrive in London, one young and hopeful, the other dark and brooding. Anthony Hope and Sweeney Todd – a barber by trade – are about to become inextricably linked in a tale of love and revenge, with a beautiful girl who sings through her barred window, a beggar woman with a mysterious secret and the irrepressible Mrs Lovett whose pie shop becomes the surprising scene of the crime. Darkly comic and brilliantly unsettling – one of Stephen Sondheim’s most celebrated musicals.
  • UNCLE VANYA - Drama

    Court House Theatre

    Adapted by ANNIE BAKER

    For years, Vanya and his niece Sonya have worked tirelessly to keep the family’s dilapidated estate from ruin. The return of Sonya’s father, the Professor, and his beautiful second wife Yelena, throws the harmony of the farm off balance as old loyalties and new loves conflict. Funny and heartbreaking, Chekhov’s masterpiece lays bare his characters’ passions, hopes and desires with warmth and poignancy. This new version, by American playwright Annie Baker (Pulitzer Prize, 2014), gives us a fresh look at this deeply human story.
  • MASTER HAROLD...and the Boys

    Directed by PHILIP AKIN

    Port Elizabeth, South Africa — 1950. In a tea-shop owned by his parents, Harold does homework while two black men rehearse ballroom dancing. Hally and the men, who have long worked for his family, recall fond memories of times spent together as the young boy escaped his family life. But when news comes that the boy’s father is returning home, the personal becomes political. First produced in 1982, the play was initially banned in South Africa and has since become an enduring, modern classic that continues to speak to inequality and injustice.

    Adapted for the stage by LISA CODRINGTON
    From the short story by BERNARD SHAW
    Directed by RAVI JAIN

    When a young African girl is abandoned by her missionary for asking too many questions, she takes the phrase ‘Seek and ye shall find’ a little too literally. She sets out on an adventure to try and find God – but which one? There are so many to choose from! And they all want to convince her that they are The One. Along the way she meets a talking snake, a Caravan of the Curious and an Irishman with some radical ideas. Shaw’s short story is reimagined by Governor General Award-nominated playwright Lisa Codrington in her comic and irreverent adaptation.
  • OUR TOWN - Romantic Drama

    Royal George Theatre

    Directed by MOLLY SMITH

    Grover’s Corners – an ordinary town rendered with extraordinary care in this American classic. In a play stripped to its essence, a Stage Manager welcomes the audience and tells us the story of life in this small town. We are invited into the everyday lives of the town’s inhabitants and through them, witness enduring truths of the human condition. We follow the lives of George and Emily whose touching romance reminds us of the urgent need to live each moment. First produced in 1938, this Pulitzer Prize-winning drama has become an American classic and is Thornton Wilder’s most renowned play.

  • MRS WARREN'S PROFESSION (Love Story/Drama)

    Directed by EDA HOLMES

    Can Shaw still shock you? We think so. Kitty Warren has worked hard to provide for her daughter and now that Vivie is about to strike out on her own, her mother decides it’s time for her feminist daughter to finally learn the truth about her mother’s profession. A contemporary look at a classic play that still challenges our notions of motherhood and the business of sex. Originally banned from public performance, it was first staged at a private men’s club and the production in New York led to arrests. Shaw himself said about the play, “Ah, when I wrote that, I had some nerve.”
  • ENGAGED - Comedy

    Directed by MORRIS PANYCH

    A comic look at love, marriage and money from one half of the team of Gilbert and Sullivan. We’re in Scotland as yet another train is “derailed” (by some locals) and the passengers have to stay the night. They include a wealthy bachelor who can’t see a pretty girl without proposing to her and within minutes he’s gotten engaged – twice! What’s worse is, he’s already engaged! Written in 1877, a year before Gilbert and Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore, the celebrated team’s librettist created a sensation of his own with this satire that went on to inspire the comedies of Shaw, Oscar Wilde and Noël Coward.
  • THE DANCE OF DEATH - Dark Comedy

    Studio Theatre

    In a new version by CONOR McPHERSON

    Isolated on an island in a reclaimed fortress, Edgar, an army captain, and his wife Alice have been tormenting each other for 25 years. Their children have fled, no servant will stay and when Kurt, Alice’s cousin arrives, he finds himself drawn into their deadly games. This is the Shaw Festival’s first production in almost 30 years of this titan of the mandate and the premiere of this classic. Strindberg’s darkly comic play has been called the forerunner to Coward’s Private Lives and Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf in its bleakly comic look at the travails of marriage.
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