Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)

Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)
Oh, to be in England...

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Stratford Festival, Ontario, Canada


I live in Ontario, Canada and the Stratford Festival is an amazing gift for we theatre lovers. It has also carved out a wonderful artistic community in Stratford (on the Avon river, no less) which used to be just a small farming and manufacturing centre.

We now have fabulous restaurants, adorable Victorian B&Bs, and some of the best shopping you will find anywhere. And of course, from late spring to the fall, we have world class actors in some of the best plays both Shakespearean and more modern.


This season seems to be a particularly wonderful one, so if you have the chance to come and check it out, I don't think you will be disappointed. This weekend was the Michigan Member's Weekend and there are also  events through the season for Members from Chicago, NY and Ohio.


Of course, this is on my mind right now as I just saw Shakespeare's Measure for Measure yesterday. It was fabulous by the way. It is put on in one of the smallest of the venues, the Tom Patterson Theatre which is actually the winter home of the Stratford Badminton Club and only holds about 500 seats around the thrust stage.


It sounds strange but it is a wonderfully intimate experience and we were in the first row, so we almost felt like we were inside the play! The other two theatres, the Festival Theatre and the Avon Theatre are of course much bigger and house the more popular of the plays and musicals.


I like to study up a bit on the plays I see at Stratford, as I find as an adult who studied science and not literature in University, I need a bit of background for some of the lesser known plays. My husband was doing the same (dueling laptops on the deck) and he was laughing his head off at the analysis of Measure for Measure on shmoop, which I had never heard of. I wish shmoop existed when I was a high school student. Heck, I wish the internet existed when I was a high school student. Anyway, it's a fun and informative place to bone up on a play beforehand.


And as good as Measure for Measure was, the next one I am going to see with my girlfriends in July is supposed to be even better. Mary Stuart, an adaptation of Friedrich Schiller's play from 1800 has been getting fabulous reviews. I don't have to study as hard for this one, but a bit of Wikipedia cramming so I know my Dudleys from my Darnleys is probably in order. And I get to have a lovely lunch with my friends beforehand.

So although no film review this week, at least you know what I am up to this summer!

Cheers!

P.S. On my last trip to NYC, our waitress one night was a struggling actress who travels from NYC to Stratford every summer to take in as many plays as she can cram in over a few days. We gave her an extra good tip that night!

11 comments:

  1. Have fun and enjoy your Shakespeare!

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    Replies
    1. Ciao Maria Grazia! Thanks I will! You might like Taking Shakespeare, which is about an English teacher trying to teach Shakespeare to a teenaged boy. Although perhaps you want to escape your job when you go to the theatre!

      http://www.stratfordfestival.ca/OnStage/productions.aspx?id=20215&prodid=47021

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  2. Have a great time! And remember, a girl can never have too many muslin frock or see too many Shakespeare plays. ;)

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  3. You're so right,the Stratford Festival is an amazing gift for us theatre lovers - how lucky we both are to live close enough to enjoy it annualy. I'm also lucky enough to be married to a freelance writer who does reviews at Stratford. Here's his take on this season to date: http://freelanceandfiction.blogspot.ca/search/label/Stratford%20Festival%202013

    Have a great week!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Elaine. Thanks for the link. Glad to see your spouse liked both productions I am seeing. It seems like a great season this year!

      Cheers!

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  4. are you from Stratford?? I live in Kitchener, I love your emails and website and can't believe we are neighbours.
    Nicki

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    Replies
    1. Hi Nicki! I am even closer- I am in Waterloo. It is truly a small world. One of the reasons I started this blog is that I was seeking out others with similar interests.

      Glad you found me!

      Cheers, or should I say gem├╝tlichkeit?!

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  5. School is now out, so Brother-in-law will be taking your niece to see "Fiddler on the Roof" at Stratford this Friday - not Shakespeare, but he volunteered to take her to musical theatre! A new first ...
    I'm sure they'll have a great time!

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    1. Just saw Mary Stuart today. It was AWESOME! Even the non Anglophiles in my group loved it. Much easier to understand than Shakespeare as it is a modern translation of a 200 yr old German play.

      I hope Julia loved Fiddler. Great date with her dad!

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  6. Awesome book fifty shades lovely book... Movie soon.....Fifty shades of grey...
    christian grey

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