Understudying was always one of the hardest jobs in theatre but in 2022 it’s taken on a whole new meaning. Gone are the days when an actor might learn a role only to see the entire run go by without performing it. In the first full season back for many of Canada’s biggest theatre companies […]

Understudying was always one of the hardest jobs in theatre but in 2022 it’s taken on a whole new meaning. Gone are the days when an actor might learn a role only to see the entire run go by without performing it. In the first full season back for many of Canada’s biggest theatre companies […]

Understudying was always one of the hardest jobs in theatre but in 2022 it’s taken on a whole new meaning. Gone are the days when an actor might learn a role only to see the entire run go by without performing it. In the first full season back for many of Canada’s biggest theatre companies […]

  Kelly Bedard

It’s confusing to me that there hasn’t been more August Wilson at the Shaw Festival (though in Canadian theatre in general). Especially as our major institutions have been putting in the effort to include more diverse voices in their seasons, bumping uncomfortably against limiting mandates that are by design exclusionary. August Wilson fits beautifully in […]

  Kelly Bedard

The final piece of Outdoors at the Shaw programming I saw this year (I sadly missed A Short History of Niagara), Fairground is a kid-inclusive interactive fair that morphs into a roving concert showcasing members of the musical company (plus Kristopher Bowman). The break dancing from season standout Kevin McLachlan and pet puppets are the […]

  Kelly Bedard

Another hit from the Outdoors at the Shaw programming, this original narrative concert written, curated and directed by Jay Turvey is an unblinking and critical but ultimately joyful examination of where we were 100 years ago and how far we have (and haven’t) come.   The major events and artistic achievements of 1922 are chronicled […]

  Kelly Bedard

The Outdoors at the Shaw programming is what happiness is made of. Created by the cast who performs it, this superb Shavian variety hour tours audiences around the beautiful Festival Theatre grounds, treating us to pleasures ranging from a cooking demonstration to a magic show to snippets of script and song. The show earnestly embraces […]

  Kelly Bedard

The Shaw Festival has elevated The Doctor’s Dilemma into a moving and impactful tent pole of its excellent post-pandemic season.

  Kelly Bedard

Just to Get Married is the best sort of Shaw Festival programming, a refreshing treasure unearthed from well-worn ground. It’s every bit the mandate, which doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

Gaslight The 1938 play that inspired the idiom “gaslighting” has dipped briefly into the public domain, allowing the Shaw Festival to commission Johnna Wright and Patty Jamieson to adapt the story into this new version. It’s a clever thought, giving audiences the backstory behind such a ubiquitous concept (one that is very much not self-explanatory) […]

  Kelly Bedard

The landing page for all of our Shaw & Stratford Festival reviews from the 2022 season. Stay tuned as this page will update throughout the summer. 

  Kelly Bedard

Every second of this vibrant new staging of Adler & Ross’ 1955 musical comedy about a team in need of a win is packed with delight. From stage magic that rivals anything in The Cursed Child to the thrill of rooting for a new star, The Shaw Festival’s Damn Yankees is the most fun I’ve […]

  Kelly Bedard

Everybody is the dream. If you ever hear someone question the goal of modernizing and diversifying the country’s biggest and most entrenched theatres, tell that person about Everybody. This production is why that forever and always struggle is important. Beyond just issues of fairness and the importance of representation, it’s important because real success means […]

  Kelly Bedard

Nearly three full hours, consisting of very little plot yet somehow lots of plot contrivance and noted mainly for its extended bursts of tiresome moralizing, Too True to be Good is quintessentially Shavian in a way I find hard to love. It’s so typical that there’s almost a strange comfort in its inclusion in this, […]

  Kelly Bedard

Robert & Willie Reale’s musical adaptation of Arnold Lobel’s Frog & Toad books is so deliriously pleasant that I nearly got heatstroke sitting in the uncovered section of its outdoor audience at the Shaw Festival and barely noticed. My cheeks hurt from smiling and I cried so much that it’s better measured by time than […]

  Kelly Bedard

For all its traumas and sadnesses, the pandemic was, at the very least, an immensely clarifying experience. With our lives irreparably disrupted and access to so many things denied, it very quickly became obvious how I truly felt about the things in my life that had become routine. My character-defining love of television stood firm […]

  Dom Harvey

In Tennessee Williams’ extensive canon, The Glass Menagerie stands out as the original “memory play”: the work is framed as the hazy recollections of the main character, whose reliability as a narrator is an open question. Williams uses this to issue an invitation to actors and directors to fill in and flesh out those memories as […]

  Dom Harvey

If staging the perfect murder is hard enough, staging a good murder mystery has its own challenges. With all the mischievousness of its main characters, Patrick Hamilton’s Rope dodges those responsibilities by flipping the script: the murder is made in front of us and the motive is the mystery. It’s been a while since thrillers […]

  Kelly Bedard

After I saw Brigadoon, the Shaw Festival’s magical staging of a reimagined classic musical, I right away sat down to write about the experience. At least for me, the night I saw it, the mood I was in, Brigadoon was a fully contained theatrical moment about which I had plenty to say. Another staff writer […]

  Kelly Bedard

This show hit me straight in the heart. It’s been so long since I’ve been able to say that about a Shaw musical and I’m grinning ear to ear to be able to say it now (also because I literally just left the theatre so the post-musical glow has yet to wear off). Loewe’s love […]

  Kelly Bedard

Before we announce the winners of the 2018 MyEntWorld Critics’ Pick Awards, we’re proud to present our annual Nominee Interview Series. Sarena Parmar wrote Outstanding New Play nominee The Orchard (After Chekhov) based in part on her experience growing up on an orchard in British Columbia. The Cherry Orchard adaptation had its world premiere at the Shaw Festival […]

  Kelly Bedard

Before we announce the winners of the 2018 MyEntWorld Critics’ Pick Awards, we’re proud to present our annual Nominee Interview Series. Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Play nominee Shawn Ahmed was so good in The Orchard (After Chekhov) that I couldn’t wait until the end of the play to tell as many people as possible; I tweeted about him […]

  Lisa McKeown

This Crow’s remount of the 2017 Shaw production of Will Eno’s Middletown, is the story of a generic town, equidistant from its neighbouring towns, with a stable population, elevation, not too big, not too small. This is, not surprisingly, a kind of metaphor, and the play is less about a grand narrative than it is an […]

  Kelly Bedard

Artistic Director Tim Carroll programmed the 2018 Shaw season with a throughline of war stories, mostly World War I stories. The theme is so pervasive that it seems to divide the season pretty much down the middle, so that’s how I’ve decided to group the plays together- War & Peace. Read about the season’s civilian stories […]

  Kelly Bedard

Artistic Director Tim Carroll programmed the 2018 Shaw season with a throughline of war stories, mostly World War I stories. The theme is so pervasive that it seems to divide the season pretty much down the middle, so that’s how I’ve decided to group the plays together for review- War & Peace. Read about life […]

  Kelly Bedard

Arguably the greatest challenge faced by a festival with as strict a mandate as The Shaw Festival’s “plays by Bernard Shaw and his contemporaries, and plays about the period of Shaw’s lifetime” is the issue of relevance, or perhaps freshness is a more accurate word for the issue since I honestly believe you can find […]