Shakespeare shows abound on the peninsula

We are just crazy about Shakespeare, apparently. Sure, he is probably the world’s most successful playwright and certainly left his stamp on the English language. His works are still influencing our modern world. Betcha there is one of his plays in performance somewhere in the world every day. Not bad for a dude that has been dead for 398 years.

Bard in the Valley’s stated purpose and belief is “one goal, one passion – Shakespeare for everyone.” Making Shakespeare’s plays available to everyone and affordable to everyone.

Well, you can catch the final three performances of Julius Caesar on the Spirit Square Stage at Douglas Park, Langley.

The BIV Society is also dedicated to the concept of making these performances both affordable and available to wide audience, and to nurture and promote an enthusiasm for the works of Shakespeare and other playwrights. Admission is free to the performances on the Spirit Square Stage at Douglas Park in the City of Langley and in Fort Langley on the lawn in front of the Historic Community Hall. Show time is 7 p.m. on Aug. 1 and 2 and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 3. Beach House Theatre is another success story for our friend Shakespeare. Now in its third year of existence, this South Surrey Shakespeare experience is presenting The Comedy of Errors this year.

The story follows two sets of twins who were separated at birth. As we open the play, 25 years have passed and the twins find themselves in the same city. Mistaken identities, misguided love, wrongful imprisonment and wild mishaps lead to an incredibly crazy day for the twins.

Set in the Caribbean in 1725 on an island populated by pirates and privateers, this is one of Shakespeare’s most farcical plays and will surely be a wild, fun-filled evening of physical comedy and playful word banter. The show runs Tuesday, Aug. 12 to Sunday, Aug. 17 with an 8 p.m. curtain. Tickets are available on line at beachhousetheatre.org While the Shakespeare experience may not be suitable for children under eight, Beach House Theatre includes something for the younger set. A talented cast under the direction of Ian Harmon brings five Robert Munsch stories to life. Matt Falletta, Megan Sommerville, and Courtney Shields are The Three Munschketeers who bring on the Munsch magic.

The Three Munschketeers runs Monday, Aug. 11 to Friday, Aug. 15 with an 11 a.m. curtain at the tent at Blackie Spit on the beach in beautiful Crescent Beach.

Tickets are available on line at beachhousetheatre.org.

Now, I am not so sure of how to find Blackie Spit, but you can google it.

Apparently it is easy to find and this is your lucky summer – tickets are still available! Last year they were sold out in two hours. Look for tents on Blackie Spit area of Crescent Beach.

In Shakespeare’s day, all the parts were played by men. Women were young boys whose voice hadn’t yet changed. It was against the edict of the day for women to appear on stage. So now we have a modern twist – an all-female cast. Classic Chic Productions presents The Winter’s Tale. This romantic fairy tale is not only an all-female ensemble but is the debut production for Classic Chic a newly formed Vancouver women’s theatre collective.

Christina Wells Campbell was the magically wonderful blue fairy in a Christmas panto from the Fraser Valley Gilbert Sullivan Society. I thought she was wonderful. Yes, she is from Surrey! And why not? We do have talent here. Christina is the nucleus behind Classic Chic Productions and this ensemble has promise.

“There are great roles in theatre that women have traditionally not had the opportunity to play but appeal to them as actors and human beings,” says Wells Campbell.

“With Classic Chic we are creating a forum for women to explore these possibilities, and audiences, too.”

The Winter’s Tale runs July 26 to Aug. 9 (preview July 25) at the PAL Studio Theatre, 581 Cardero Street in Vancouver. Tickets are available at ticketstonight.ca And just remember what Shakespeare said – “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”

That man not only had a way with words, but a vision as well. Just fascinating.

melminty@telus.net

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