This week at Kew Gardens Park, Toronto Shakespeare fans said farewell to one of the city’s summer theatre institutions. Technically ending tonight with their tour’s final stop in Burlington, Driftwood Theatre’s “Final Bard’s Bus Tour” features not their usual adaptation of a Shakespeare text but an original 90-minute one-man-show wherein the company’s founder tells his own story of his relationship with Shakespeare, his life with Driftwood, and why it’s all coming to an end.


Living with Shakespeare is a frank and bittersweet love letter to the great love of Jeremy Smith’s life.  That is, the love of his life aside from his family, the tension of that clarification forming the most compelling current through the piece. Smith’s dedication to a life in theatre and the classical touring company he founded is an all-consuming calling that’s as demanding as it is miraculous and through Living with Shakespeare he is able to give Driftwood fans at least a small understanding of what makes that life hard. And fun. But also hard.


Behind the scenes anecdotes will thrill those who’ve seen the Bard’s Bus Tour over the years but, even if you haven’t, Smith is a compelling performer whose story will connect with any audience. Living with Shakespeare is a melancholy but ultimately fond portrait of what you give up to live a life you love and how hard it can be to decide when to give it all up.