Edward Bond’s Comedy The Sea in Previews at the Shaw Festival's Court House Theatre

First time work by master of political and thought-provoking theatre presented at renowned festival.

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Shaw Festival 2014
The Sea is about the infinite capacity of human beings to adapt and survive.

Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON (PRWEB) June 05, 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, 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, ON).
The Sea is generously sponsored by James F. Brown.

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

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

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 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.

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The cast of The Sea. The cast of The Sea.

Photo by David Cooper.