SURREY — It has been beach weather in July. We have beaches to go along with the weather. Take advantage of these days, and live the “life’s a beach” attitude. Spend a day at the beach, pick up some dinner, then enjoy some outdoor theatre – at the beach. Where else?
Theatre Under the Stars has had a very successful run this year with Mary Poppins and The Drousy Chaperone. Located near the beaches of Stanley Park, Malkin Bowl theatre was established in 1940. Shows run until Aug. 19, so there is still time to enjoy this iconic outdoor experience. It’s easy to get tickets online at the TUTS website (tuts.ca).
Bard on the Beach, Vancouver’s Shakespeare festival, has enjoyed huge international success since its inception in 1990. The long run – from June until September – makes the Vanier Park location a well-travelled spot. Special events include fireworks and Bard-B-Q, Family Nights and Wine Wednesdays. A full schedule can be found on the Bard website (bardonthebeach.org). This year I am really going to try to make it to A Winter’s Tale on Wine Wednesday. This particular piece is directed by Dean Paul Gibson, an internationally respected director, and all-around fun guy. He is a graduate of Surrey’s Earl Marriott Secondary and was turned on to the world of theatre with the assistance of drama coach Rick Harmon and choreographer Carol Seitz.
Harmon has retired from teaching, but his career in theatre continues with Beach House Theatre. Along with – and inspired by – Candace Radcliffe, Beach House Theatre brought the Bard to a different beach in 2012 with a production of A Midsummer’s Night Dream. Tickets were sold out in days. Each year, this young company sets up tents at Blackie Spit Park in South Surrey. The run is still only one week, and tickets are still sold quickly.
This year’s production is The Heart Of Robin Hood, by David Farr of the Royal Shakespeare Company. It is a newish play, on an old theme. Who doesn’t love the Robin Hood legend? Beach House Theatre is honoured to be one of the first companies in Canada to produce this epic show. It’s a beautiful adventure, romance and comedy that includes song, dance and swordplay. You won’t want to miss it, but you might if you don’t get your tickets right now. Half of the shows are already sold out. There is a warning, as the show contains scenes of violence and swordplay. Showtime is 8 p.m., starting Aug. 15. The play is recommended for adults and well-prepared children aged 10 and up. I am not sure what “well-prepared” means exactly, but when in doubt – don’t do it. There is proper audience protocol to ensure a wonderful experience for all.
For younger audiences, however, Beach House brings you the adventures of another great hero of English folklore, with Lane Riosley’s The Commedia Tales of King Arthur. This show, created for young audiences but one that any age can enjoy, runs from Aug. 16 to 20, and showtime is 11 a.m. Theatre first, beach time after. There is still availability of seats for this show. Young people do enjoy good theatre just as much as a day on the beach. This just might be a good opportunity for your child’s first theatre experience. It’s in a tent, on a beach.
For more Beach House Theatre show details, call 604-594-5888 or visit beachhousetheatre.org.
So slap on some sunscreen, find a beach – with a theatre experience attached. The sun is shining. Life is good, especially at the beach.