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Bernard Shaw’s The Philanderer now in previews at the Festival Theatre

- Comedy about love, marriage and the sexes staged as Shaw intended – with originally abandoned third Act -

Newsroom Post #8

Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON (July 1, 2014) — A new production of Bernard Shaw’s The Philanderer, staged with the original third Act, is now in previews at the Festival Theatre. Celebrated American director Lisa Peterson, making her Shaw Festival and Canadian theatre debut, directs this new production that brings out the wicked in Shaw’s wit. Gord Rand as the charismatic Leonard Charteris, Moya O’Connell and Marla McLean as “New Women” Julia Craven and Grace Tranfield, respectively, lead a cast featuring Michael Ball, Jeff Meadows, Ric Reid and Harveen Sandhu.

Shaped by Shaw’s progressive ideals and views, designer Sue LePage, lighting designer Kevin Lamotte and composer and sound designer Mark Bennett create the palatable sense of a changing society that erupts into an avant-garde reality by the last Act.

Inspired by his own love affairs, Shaw’s The Philanderer centres on Leonard Charteris, a leading philosopher of Ibsenism and committed philanderer. A loyal member of the Ibsen Club, where equality of the sexes is celebrated, his dedication to the idea of friendship over marriage dissolves when he proposes to young, self-assured “New Woman” Grace Tranfield. There’s just one obstacle to their happiness, his previous lover Julia Craven, a self-professed “New Woman”, will not give him up. Leonard’s attempts to extricate himself from the love triangle climaxes in a witty and passionate battle between the sexes and generations.

The original third Act of The Philanderer was considered so scandalous, Shaw’s friend Lady Colin Campbell told him to burn the final Act after reading the play. According to one critic, “In short, the reason why Act III was abandoned – was not the unpreparedness of the playwright, but that of the audience.” For the first time, The Philanderer will be staged as Shaw had first intended. The Shaw Festival believes audiences are ready for it.

The Philanderer
Moya O’Connell as Julia Craven & Gord Rand as Leonard Charteris in The Philanderer.
Photo by David Cooper.

About The Philanderer
June 26 – October 12; Opening: July 12
The Philanderer will be on stage at the Festival Theatre (10 Queen’s Street, Niagara-on-the-Lake).
The Philanderer is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French Inc. and generously supported by the Gabriel Pascal Memorial Fund.

Cast: (in alphabetical order)

Michael Ball
Guy Bannerman
Kristi Frank
Marla McLean
Jeff Meadows
Moya O’Connell
Gord Rand
Ric Reid
Harveen Sandhu
Mr. Joseph Cuthbertson
The Spirit of Ibsen/Spedding
The Ibsen Club page
Grace Tranfield
Dr. Percival Paramore
Julia Craven
Leonard Charteris
Colonel Daniel Craven
Sylvia Craven

Creative Team:

Lisa Peterson
Sue LePage
Kevin Lamotte
Mark Bennett
Dora Tomassi
Amy Jewell
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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