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Edward Bond’s comedy The Sea in previews at the Court House Theatre

- First time work by master of political and thought-provoking theatre presented at the Shaw Festival -

Newsroom Post #7

Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON (June 4, 2014)The Sea, the first Edward Bond work to be presented at The Shaw, began previews Tuesday, June 3 at the Court House Theatre. Eda Holmes directs this provocative comedy that mixes elements of farce, politics and rural mysticism – described by one critic as “equally influenced by The Tempest, The Importance of Being Earnest and Invasion of the Body Snatchers”. Fiona Reid leads an ensemble cast featuring Patrick Galligan, Wade Bogert-O’Brien, Peter Millard and Julia Course.

Inspired by the ebb and flow and the destructive and creative power of the sea, set designer Camellia Koo, costume designer Michael Gianfrancesco, lighting designer Kevin Lamotte and composer and sound designer John Gzowski incorporate oceanic elements to create East Anglia in 1907, an English village at the edge of the world, on stage.

During a tempestuous storm, a beloved member of the community is lost at sea. The loss affects the whole village, including Louise Rafi (Fiona Reid), who leads the remote town’s social hierarchy. Unconvinced the death was an accident, local draper Hatch (Patrick Galligan) goes mad believing the accident heralds an imminent invasion of extraterrestrial aliens. Among the farcical chaos that ensues, a young couple, Willy Carson (Wade Bogert-O’Brien), close friend of the victim and survivor of the storm, and Rose Jones (Julia Course), the grieving fiancée, make plans to escape the constricted hierarchical and, at times, eccentric community.

Like Bernard Shaw, Edward Bond’s plays shook up the theatre world when they were first produced. Though many people associate the playwright with the darker plays of his repertoire, Bond suggests The Sea is about “the infinite capacity of human beings to adapt and survive”. Director Eda Holmes believes that Bond “is a playwright of great optimism and great belief in the future and the next generation” and at its core, The Sea is “about community, about how the hierarchies of community drive us to be both our best and our worst selves”.

About The Sea
June 3 – October 12; Opening: July 11
The Sea
will be on stage at the Court House Theatre (26 Queen Street, Niagara-on-the-Lake).
The Sea is generously sponsored by James F. Brown.

Cast: (in alphabetical order)

The cast of <i>The Sea</i>
The cast of The Sea. Photo by David Cooper.

Neil Barclay
Wade Bogert-O’Brien
Julia Course
Jennifer Dzialoszynski
Patrick Galligan
Patty Jamieson
Billy Lake
Catherine McGregor
Peter Millard
Fiona Reid
Ben Sanders
Jacqueline Thair
Kelly Wong
Jenny L. Wright
Willy Carson
Rose Jones
Jessica Tilehouse
Louise Rafi
Mafanwy Price

Creative Team:

Eda Holmes
Camellia Koo
Michael Gianfrancesco
Kevin Lamotte
John Gzowski
Beatrice Campbell
Leigh McClymont
Set Designer
Costume Designer
Lighting Designer
Composer and Sound Designer
Stage Manager
Assistant Stage Manager

The Shaw Festival’s 2014 season began April 4 runs until October 26 and features 10 productions presented on the Festival’s four Niagara-on-the-Lake stages. For more information on our 2014 season, performance schedule and ticket information, please visit www.shawfest.com or call 1-800-511-SHAW.


About the Shaw Festival

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.

For more information, or to acquire images, 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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