July 21 to August 13, 2017

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Tues. to Sun. matinees at 2pm
Wed. and Sat. evenings at 8pm

A love triangle is the basis for Shaw’s popular romance

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George Bernard Shaw considered his 1895 domestic comedy Candida one of his Plays Pleasant. In part an ironic antidote to A Doll’s House, Henrik Ibsen’s 1879 drama about a woman’s fate in a male-dominated society, Candida also offers an indirect reference to Shaw’s own background. (His mother left his father for her musician friend.)

The title character of his comedy is asked to choose between her somewhat pompous clergyman husband and the 18-year-old aristocratic poet who adores her, is horrified that she helps with household chores — and sends her to sleep with his poetry. The poet has shaken the minister’s confidence in his domestic contentment , particularly when he returns home to find Candida and the young man in cosy repose by the living-room fire. But her decision is not difficult, says Candida, as she chooses the weaker of the two men.

As directed by Laurel Smith, the Classic Theatre Festival production of Candida is breezy and fast moving and the Victorian era is underlined by the intended clutter of Roger Schultz’s set and Renate Seller’s costumes.

While the characters tend to be stereotypes — the idealized wife, the spinster secretary yearning for her employer, the roguish businessman, the nervous poet and the speechmaking socialist — the cast develop characterizations that do much to create individuals.

William Vickers, clearly having fun with the role as Candida’s scoundrel of a father, is a particular delight,. Dana Franklin, as Candida, is all charm and warmth, with Anna Burkholder as the barking, stiff secretary Miss Garnett, as her counterpoint.

The complete contrast between Jeffrey Aarles as the Reverend Morell — driven, idealistic but insecure — and Sean Jacklin as the foppish, velvet-clad poet Eugene Marchbanks — nervous, but determined and sure of his love — is equally effective.

The Classic Theatre Festival production of Candida continues in Perth to August 13, 2017 – Iris Winston, Capital Critics Circle

George Bernard Shaw‘s Candida, a witty skewering of Victorian notions of love and marriage in which the title character must choose between her clergyman husband and a passionate young poet. It’s the kind of play that makes you both laugh and feel all warm inside as Shaw gently pokes fun at our collective romantic foibles.

Production Team
(Click on name for bios.)

Directed by Laurel Smith
Set Design by Roger Schultz
Lighting Design by Wesley McKenzie
Costume Design by Renate Seiler
Sound Design by Matthew Behrens
Production Manager: Wesley McKenzie
Stage Manager: Alison Muir
Assistant Stage Manager: Kathryn Irvine

Starring: (in alphabetical order)
Jeffrey Aarles as Rev. James Mavor Morell
Anna Burkholder as Miss Proserpine Garnett
Fraser Elsdon as Rev. Alexander Mill
Dana Fradkin as Candida
Sean Jacklin as Eugene Marchbanks
William Vickers as Mr. Burgess


Photo credit: J.D. Labelle

Pre-show Talks explain the history, story, background, and social/cultural context of the play and playwright and are included with the price of your ticket. Pre-show Talks are presented at 1:30pm before each matinee, and at 7:30pm before each evening performance.

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