With over 63 years of acting under his belt, 43 of which have been spent at the Stratford Festival, William Needles brings his lifelong experiences with another — perhaps more noted — William to the stage in Bill and Will: My Life With Shakespeare.
The five performance-run of his one-man show will play the Ontario festival July 17-28.
Bill and Will chronicles the life of octogenarian Needles, who has played more than 100 roles at Stratford's stages, in relationship to the works of the Bard. Needles references his time at the battle of Okinawa, in which he focused on soliloquies from Hamlet and Henry V to keep him from losing his sanity.
The Stratford Festival is celebrating its 50th anniversary this summer with a lineup that includes All's Well That Ends Well, Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, The Threepenny Opera, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Two Noble Kinsmen and their three-part cycle of "The Wars of the Roses" connecting Henry VI, Revenge in France; Henry VI, Revolt in England and Richard III, Reign of Terror.