Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle also tried his hand at the stage. A revival of his play, Waterloo, opens at the Shaw Festival of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, on Aug. 21 for a run through Sept. 19. The production began previews on Aug. 6.
Doyle's drama is about an aging soldier who is the last remaining hero of the Battle of Waterloo. The role was originally written for Sir Henry Irving. The festival production has been tailored to the skills of senior Shaw actor Tony van Bridge.
Other Shaw productions currently on view include Galsworthy's Joy, in which Joy, the teenage daughter of separated parents contends with love, anger, jealousy and rejection. Neil Munro directs a cast featuring Severn Thompson (as Joy), Michael Ball, Sharry Flett, Jennifer Phipps and Maralyn Ryan. Joy runs through Sept. 27.
Shaw Festival staple Fiona Reid stars in Wilde's Lady Windermere's Fan (through Oct. 31). The exploration of Victoria morals also stars Colombe Demers, Ben Carlson, and Gordon Rand, under Christopher Newton's direction.
Shaw takes his rightful place at the center of the festival on July 10, when two Shavian productions open: Passion, Poison and Petrifaction or, The Fatal Gazogene (Sept. 20) at the Royal George; and John Bull's Other Island (Sept. 26) at the Court House. The former is Shaw's 1905 one-act spoof of Victorian melodrama. Gyllian Raby directs a cast including Camille James, D. Garnet Harding, Brigitte Robinson and Todd Waite. The better known John Bull's Other Island stars David Schurmann, Blair Williams, Peter Hutt, and is directed by Jim Mezon. The Shaw Fest began performances April 15 and runs through Nov. 29. Five productions opened in May, including Shaw's Major Barbara (running through Nov. 1); Kaufman and Hart's You Can't Take It With You (Nov. 1); Christopher Fry's The Lady's Not for Burning (Sept. 27); the new Gershwin musical A Foggy Day (Nov. 1); andThe Shop at Sly Corner, by Edward Percy (Nov. 29).
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-- By Robert Simonson