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on fsm& STAGE ^1^ JUDITH HSHER Queen's University I do hope that those of you who had a chance to travel were not too disappointed to find that many of the shows I mentioned in the last edition had disappeared without trace even before you finished reading. Theatrical performances have always been ephemeral and I can only reiterate my warning about the vagaries of commercial ventures. However, we are now in Festival season for which dates are somewhat more reliable. NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE: SHAW FESTIVAL Saint Joan by George Bernard Shaw Festival Theatre· April 21 - October 31 · Directed by Neil Munro The Silver King by Henry Arthur Jones and Henry Herman Festival Theatre· May 15 - October 10 · Directed by Shaw's Artistic Director, Christopher Newton Newton calls it "perhaps the finest melodrama of the nineteenth century" and, in the Festival brochure, he quotes from the old play bills in which it was "Universally pronounced by the Press of England and America [as] The Greatest Drama of our Times." Candida by George Bernard Shaw Court House Theatre· June 23 - September 26 · Directed by Christopher Newton Newton calls this a play that needs "a rich intimacy between actor and audience" and the Court House Theatre certainly provides that atmosphere. The Unmentionables by Carl Stemheim Court House Theatre· June 27 - September 26 Directed by Paul Lampert Written in 1911, this satire begins with "a civil servant berating his wife because a ribbon broke and her bloomers fell around her feet on the sidewalk." Heaven forfend! On Stage85 The Marrying ofAnn Leete by Harley Graville Barker Court House Theatre· August 4 - September 25 · This play is about "politics, social position, love and gardening." As the brochure asks, "What could be more seductive?" The Man ofDestiny by George Bernard Shaw Royal George Theatre· June 30 - September 26 · Directed by Miles Potter This particular production is this season's lunch-time theature: bring your own or buy a box lunch in the Royal George Lobby. The Festival brochure which includes information on accommodation, dining, and the various events and activities in the Niagara area, as well as on booking tickets, is available from the Shaw Festival, Box 774, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario LOS UO or phone 1-800-267-4759 (Canada) and 1-800-724-2934 (U.S.A.). LONDON, ENGLAND: Trelawney of the "Wells' by Arthur Wing Pinero Royal National - Olivier Theatre· in repertory until July 12 · Directed by John Caird; Designed by John Napier After the all-star cast production which did not tarry long on the London boards, Caird has been praised for his production of "freshness, warmth and emotional depth" (Charles Spencer). Robin Bailey was given special accolades for his performance as Sir William Gower but all the critics mentioned the wonderful ensemble playing of the National's company. Unfortunately Maggie Smith in the highly acclaimed production of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest will have closed by mid-June. But "with a little bit o' luck," An Ideal Husband will still be running at the Comedy Theatre (see last issue for details). I suggest that you also check on the smaller out-of-London theatres when you arrive in London because they occasionally produce Victorian plays, but only for short runs. In April, for instance, the Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond presented St John Hankin's The Return of the Prodigal. 86Victorian Review EDINBURGH FESTIVAL: A Verdi retrospective· August 15 - September 4 · Falstaff- directed by Peter Stein / due Foscari - the Scottish Opera Robert Lepage's production of Bartok's Bluebeard' s Castle is also making an appearance at the Festival. NEW YORK: I'm afraid my contacts in New York have come up empty on productions of Victorian plays on and off Broadway for August and the new season information is not available yet. However, although it is a modem play, the following offers an extremely interesting account of the unlikely friendship between George Bernard Shaw, Sir Sydney Cockerell and Dame Laurentia McLachlan. The Best ofFriends by Hugh Whitemore The Westside Theatre/ Upstairs 407 W 43rd Street· open-ended run · IN THE WINGS: I know it's not "on stage," but I cannot resist an early advertisement for...


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