Bard on the Beach
The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Dates and Venue June 29 – September 17, 7.30pm + Sat & Sun matinees at 2pm | Howard Family Stage in the Douglas Campbell Theatre,

Director Scott Bellis Costume Designer Mara Gottler Scenic Designer Marshall McMahen Lighting Designer Adrian Muir Sound Designer Julie Casselman Choreographer Tara Cheyenne Friedberg Stage Manager Joanne P.B. Smith

Reviewer Karen Fitzgibbon

Itís a full house at the opening night of The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Itís a wonderful performance. We are spending a perfect summer evening in a tent at the beach for one of Shakespeareís great comedies.

The Two Gentlemen of Verona is about two best friends, Valentine (Nadeem Philip) and Proteus(Charlie Gallant) who are both in love with Sylvia (Adele Noronha), another manís girlfriend. The other man is Turio (Kamyar Pazandeh), a wealthy nobleman. Sylviaís father, (the Duke, Edward Foy) wants her to marry Turio. This love Proteus has for Sylvia will cause a double problem for him since he already has a girlfriend, Julia (Kate Besworth). Although Proteus leaves Julia behind, Julia decides to follow Proteus to the Dukeís residence without Proteusís knowledge...and so the plot thickens.

The costume designs (Mara Gottler) are perfect for this period stage performance. The costumes are colourful and elegant. Itís great to see some effort in costume design. The play is well directed. The actorsí performance is flawless and the physical agility of the actors is impressive. I loved the fun choreography (Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg).

At the beginning of the play we had trouble hearing the dialogue. It greatly improved however as the play rolled along. Proteusís servant Launce (Andrew Cownden) shows up on occasion with his dog, Crab, a basset hound with big brown eyes that captivates the audience.

Valentineís servant, Chirag Naikís (Speed) acting stands out because he is so animated and he adds a really funny and uplifting character to the story. I am also impressed with the three rogues in the forest. I just loved that particular part of the performance. The three are hilarious. The fencing between the nobleman Turio and the Duke is also quite well done. It isnít often that one can see swords in action in a live performance.

The acting was fabulous. The lines flowed. The tremendous work and time that went into their rehearsals is evident. Those hours of dedication made this opening nightís performance a success.

I am actually amazed at how comfortable the seats are. I did not expect such luxury in a tent and I can tell you it is most appreciated. So now with your fear of comfort in a tent solved, go down to the beach on a warm summer night and enjoy this uplifting performance

© 2017 Karen Fitzgibbon