; Fun! Fun! Vancouver!: Elizabeth Rex - Bard on the Beach

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Elizabeth Rex - Bard on the Beach

I hardly ever get down to Bard on the Beach, mainly because I personally find it difficult to watch Shakespeare and prefer to read it instead. That said, I don't pay attention much to their programming, but perhaps I should! This summer, they have a non-Shakespeare show on one of their stages: Timothy Findley's Elizabeth Rex. I LOVE Timothy Findley! So I was very excited to bring an out of town friend there to watch it with me.

How delighted was I to find that the lead actress was none other than Colleen Wheeler!! I had seen her already in Electric Company's Initiation Trilogy as well as Kid Gloves, and she definitely has a stage presence and is a joy to watch. She shines brightly as Queen Elizabeth, a role that certainly shows off her acting chops.

The play brought me to the corners of my mind where I had stored all of my knowledge of Shakespeare and that period. If you're more familliar with his work and with the history of Queen Elizabeth, you will definitely get a lot out of this intellectual and well-written piece - Timothy Findley's most successful play. If you don't know that much about the history, all you need to know is that Queen Elizabeth was in love, the guy betrayed her, and she had to put him to death. The story centers around the night before his execution and we find our beloved Virgin Queen in her barn, trying desperately to distract herself by getting a group of actors to entertain her. However, one of the actors, played by Haig Sutherland, intrigues her so and ends up sparring with her emotionally and verbally. He, who plays women in Shakespeare's plays, aims to try and help Queen Elizabeth find her inner woman, while she in return, ops to help him find his inner man.

The two actors are the highlight of the production, which as a whole is fantastic!

Elizabeth Rex runs until September 11th at Board on the Beach. Check the schedule for showtimes and tickets.

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