Des McAnuff's Stratford Twelfth Night Gets Film Release in Canada March 10 | Playbill

News Des McAnuff's Stratford Twelfth Night Gets Film Release in Canada March 10
The Stratford Shakespeare Festival's 2011 pop-rock-infused production of Shakespeare's comedy Twelfth Night gets a cinematic release March 10 and March 21 at Cineplex Entertainment theatres across Canada.

Brian Dennehy
Brian Dennehy Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann

The play was directed by Des McAnuff (who also contributed music to it). The film document of the production starring Brian Dennehy was produced and directed Barry Avrich.

Stratford artistic director and Tony Award winner McAnuff (The Who's Tommy) staged Broadway's Jersey Boys and Stratford's Jesus Christ Superstar, which is getting a Broadway engagement starting in spring 2012.

The Twelfth Night film is produced by Stratford and Melbar Entertainment Group.

The Cineplex Entertainment screenings across Canada are March 10 at 12:45 PM local time with an encore performance on March 21 at 7 PM local time.

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at participating theatre box offices and online at or through the Cineplex mobile site The 2011 production at the Stratford Festival's Festival Theatre in Ontario features an eclectic score reflecting the history of rock 'n' roll, composed by Michael Roth and McAnuff. The cast includes Stephen Ouimette as Sir Andrew Aguecheek, Brian Dennehy as Sir Toby Belch, Ben Carlson as Feste, Trent Pardy as Sebastian, Cara Ricketts as Maria, Tom Rooney as Malvolio, Andrea Runge as Viola, Mike Shara as Orsino and Sara Topham as Olivia.

"Films are important to us not just because they preserve great performances for posterity," McAnuff said in a statement. "They enable us to extend the Festival experience far beyond Stratford itself. Last season's production of Twelfth Night was a huge hit with our patrons, and now we can share this comedic and musical feast with a much wider audience, spreading the joy of live theatre across the country."

"Since 2008 we have filmed three of our productions for release through Cineplex and have been thrilled with the response from audiences," general director Antoni Cimolino said. "It has been most rewarding to be part of Cineplex's commitment to share classical theatre, ballet and opera with Canadians who might otherwise not be able to attend such performances."

"This film is a virtual kaleidoscope of color, music and performance," said Avrich, who also produced the Festival's recent films of The Tempest and Caesar and Cleopatra. "Des McAnuff takes Shakespeare and gives it the musical inspiration of The Beatles and the theatricality of Cirque du Soleil."

The music of Twelfth Night has been released on CD and is also available for download on CDBaby. The CD, along with DVDs of The Tempest and Caesar and Cleopatra, are available to purchase through the Festival's website at

Brian Dennehy, Ben Carlson and Stephen Ouimette
Brian Dennehy, Ben Carlson and Stephen Ouimette Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann

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