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Sara Topham, center, and the cast of "Saint Joan" by George Bernard Shaw, at the Shaw Festival. (Photo by David Cooper)

Shaw Festival Announces 12-Show 2018 Season

The Canadian theatre will mount three Shaw plays and host Stephen Fry for Greek-myth trilogy.

NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, ONTARIO, CANADA: The Shaw Festival has announced its 2018 season, which will include 12 productions across three spaces. The season will run April 4–Oct. 28, 2018, and will include three plays by its namesake, one Shakespeare (reset during World War I), and Chekhov as seen through the eyes of an Indian-Canadian family.

In its 856-seat Festival Theatre, the Shaw Fest will program four works. The season will open with The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis, adapted for the stage by Michael O’Brien. A prequel to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the story is about how the lion Aslan created the magical land of Narnia. Shaw Festival artistic director Tim Carroll will direct.

Next will be Grand Hotel, with book by Luther Davis, music and lyrics by Robert Wright, George Forrest, and Maury Yeston. The musical takes place in the 1920s, following one tumultuous night at the eponymous hotel.

Then Stephen Fry will star in his play Mythos: A Trilogy. Gods. Heroes. Mens, a trilogy about ancient Greece and its deities. Carroll will direct.

The final show in the Festival Theatre will be The Hound of the Baskervilles, adapted by R. Hamilton Wright and David Pichett fromby Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Craig Hall will direct.

There will be five productions at the 313-seat Royal George Theatre. The first show will be Stage Kiss by Sarah Ruhl, about two actors who play lovers onstage becoming attracted to each other offstage. Anita Rochon will direct.

After that will be a Shaw compendium, Of Marriage and Men: A Comedy Double-Bill, featuring his one-acts How He Lied to Her Husband and The Man of Destiny. The former is a farce about a husband and wife and the wife’s lover, and the latter is about the early days of Napoleon. Philip Akin will direct.

Another Shaw play is next: O’Flaherty V.C., a satire about a soldier awarded the Victoria Cross who is used as a recruiting mascot for the army. Kimberley Rampersad will direct.

Next will be anti-war musical Oh What a Lovely War, with book by Joan Littlewood, Theatre Workshop, and Charles Chilton. It will feature historic Canadian wartime songs sung by soldiers. Peter Hinton will direct.

For the holidays, there’s Carroll’s adaptation of A Christmas Carol. This will be the second season the Shaw Festival will produce this adaptation, which includes music and puppetry.

The 200-seat Jackie Maxwell Studio Theatre will contain three plays. The first will be The Orchard (After Chekhov) by Sarena Parmar. The play is about an Indian family, and will use Chekhov’s Cherry Orchard to examine the Canadian immigration experience. Ravi Jain will direct.

Next will be The Baroness and the Pig by Michael Mackenzie. Taking place in 19th-century Paris, it is about a baroness who attempts to teach a young woman how to be a lady. Selma Dimitrijevic will direct.

The final show will be William Shakespeare’s Henry V, which will be set in the trenches of France in 1918. Carroll and Kevin Bennett will codirect.

The Shaw Festival was founded in 1962 and named after the playwright George Bernard Shaw.

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