Revista Filipina

Revista Filipina

Vancouver Playhouse



by George Bernard Shaw

Directed by Bill Dow

February 19th – March 17th, 2001

Box Office: 873-3311 or Ticketmaster 280-3311


By Ed Farolan

The Shavian wit, the delivery by these excellent actors, and the exquisite Victorian set made this Shavian production an evening to enjoy.

Candida, written in 1897, is considered one of Shaw's more "pleasant" plays--the least didactic, the most romantic, and to many critics, one of Shaw's own personal favourites. One could easily see the influence in this play of his predecessor, Henrik Ibsen,whose plays Shaw helped promote in England.

The first thing that impressed me was the set, a "picture perfect set" by Marti Wright, in Artistic Director Glynis Leyshon's words. A gilded frame with Cupid-like cherubims hanging on the frame and lined up along the set.

Then the actors come in, and the audience is amused by the Reverend Morrell's rigid secretary , Proserpine (Lois Anderson) who steals laughs from the audience particularly in her drunken scene in the second half of the play.  The audience gives her an appreciative ovation as she makes her humorous exit.

Veteran actor Duncan Fraser also gets a warm applause for that drunken scene.  Matt Smith as Reverend Alexander Mill did a good job in his supporting role as the high-pitched reverend who convinces Morrell to attend a speaking engagement.

Now we come to the main characters. Robert Wisden as Reverend James Morrell, is the perfect husband, devoted to his wife Candida, a dedicated social reformer. The rival to his wife's attentions is the young idealistic aesthete, Eugene Marchbanks, played excellently by Mark Hildreth. We see Shaw's personality reflected in these two characters.

Then comes the star of our show, Candida, played extraordinarily well by Jennifer Clement.  She played Candida the way Shaw would have wanted her to be: pragmatic, intelligent, and candid (her namesake).

Shaw's clever lines drew a lot of laughter from this opening night audience.  One line I particularly liked and well-delivered by Hildreth was "Did you make yourself a fool in public the way I made a fool of myself in private?" This witty line and many others from Shaw's 50 plays is what makes this prolific playwright, winner of the 1925 Nobel Prize for Literature, an outstanding dramatist.

We have reviewed productions by The Playhouse in the past four years, and I must say that their productions have been getting better under the artistic directorship of Glynis Leyshon.

Congratulations to Director Bill Dow for a well-directed play.  And it finished in exactly two hours including intermission!

The Playhouse programme lists down some interesting websites related to Shaw : 19th Century Science and the Woman Question (;

BBC Education Biography on Bernard Shaw (

The Bernard Shaw Society (

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