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Previews begin for intimate new production of Shaw’s Major Barbara

“There are only two things necessary to Salvation…money and gunpowder.”

Media Release #12

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, May 3, 2013 . . . A new production of Major Barbara, one of Bernard Shaw’s most celebrated and provocative works, began previews May 2 in the intimate space of the Shaw Festival’s Royal George Theatre.

Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell, along with The Shaw’s celebrated acting Ensemble and the creative team of designer Judith Bowden, lighting designer Alan Brodie and composer/sound designer John Gzowski, reveals a new perspective on the complex triangle between daughter, father and fiancée and challenges the notion of who is really at the heart of Shaw’s most powerful play.

Arms dealer Andrew Undershaft (Benedict Campbell) reunites with his daughter Barbara (Nicole Underhay), a major in the Salvation Army— each convinced their profession is the ultimate solution to solving the crime of poverty. In fine Shavian fashion, fireworks ensue as ideas and beliefs are challenged, undermined and hotly argued. The result is a joining of powers that will face the future in a new and untried way.

Major Barbara also features Graeme Somerville as Adolphus Cusins and Laurie Paton as Lady Britomart Undershaft, with Wade Bogert-O’Brien, Ijeoma Emesowum, Peter Krantz, Billy Lake, Catherine McGregor, James Pendarves and Ben Sanders.

Major Barbara premiered at London’s Royal Court Theatre in 1905 and was last seen at The Shaw in 2005. This production marks the first time it will be staged in the intimate setting of the Royal George Theatre.

About Major Barbara
May 2 – October 19; Opening: May 10
Major Barbara is on stage at the Royal George Theatre (85 Queen Street, Niagara-on-the-Lake)
Major Barbara is sponsored by Scotiabank®.

Cast (in alphabetical order):

Thom Allison
David Ball
Anthony Bekenn
Wade Bogert-O’Brien
Benedict Campbell
Julia Course
Ijeoma Emesowum
Kristi Frank
Kyle Golemba
Alana Hibbert
Peter Krantz
Billy Lake
Catherine McGregor
Laurie Paton
James Pendarves
Ben Sanders
Graeme Somerville
Nicole Underhay
Jenny L. Wright
Army Member
Charles Lomax
Andrew Undershaft
Army Member
Sarah Undershaft
Army Member
Army Member
Jenny Hill
Peter Shirley
Snobby Price
Rummy Mitchens
Lady Britomart Undershaft
Bill Walker
Stephen Undershaft
Adolphus Cusins
Barbara Undershaft
Mrs. Baines

Creative Team:

Jackie Maxwell
Judith Bowden
Alan Brodie
John Gzowski
Allan Teichman
Barry Burns
Lighting Designer
Composer/Sound Designer
Stage Manager
Assistant Stage Manager

The Shaw Festival’s 2013 season began April 3, runs until October 27 and features 10 productions presented on the Festival’s four Niagara-on-the-Lake stages. For more information on our 2013 season, performance schedule and ticket information, please visit www.shawfest.com or call 1-800-511-SHAW.


The Shaw Festival is a theatre company inspired by the work of Bernard Shaw. We produce plays from and about his era and contemporary plays that share Shaw’s provocative exploration of society and celebration of humanity.

Please visit our website at www.shawfest.com/news for other Shaw Festival media releases.  For more information, or to acquire images to accompany this release, members of the media may contact:

Odette Yazbeck
Public Relations Director
905-468-2153 or 1-800-657-1106 ext. 2222

Jenniffer Anand
Public Relations Coordinator
905-468-2153 or 1-800-657-1106 ext. 2224

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