LSM Newswire

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Jewel in the Tonight at 8:30 crown currently in previews at the Shaw Festival

Jewel in the Tonight at 8:30 crown currently in previews at the Shaw Festival

Star Chamber, the rarely produced comedy gem from Noel Coward’s Tonight at 8:30 collection, continues in previews at the Shaw Festival’s Royal George Theatre.

A committee of actors meet to discuss the refurbishment of Garrick Haven, a home for retired thespians. Though the stage manager and secretary dutifully arrive on time, the rest of the group make their tardy, and rather dramatic, entrances. With duelling divas and tales of past glories and gossip, the agenda is quickly forgotten and the meeting quickly reduces into comic chaos. Drawing on his own experiences as President of the Actors' Orphanage and reflecting his affection for the eccentricity of actors, Coward makes sure every known and enjoyed type of performer makes an appearance at the meeting.

Directed by Kate Lynch, this lunchtime production marks the first time since its initial performance in 1936 that Star Chamber has been produced along with Coward’s other nine plays in the Tonight at 8:30 series. Featuring the ensemble cast of Neil Barclay, Evan Buliung, Fiona Byrne, Sharry Flett, Gabrielle Jones, Marla McLean, Mark Uhre, Jenny L. Wright, Peter Krantz, Guy Bannerman and Kelly Wong, Star Chamber has set and costumes designed by the Shaw Festival’s Head of Design, William Schmuck, lighting design by Kirsten Watt and musical direction and arrangements by Reza Jacobs. The stage management team includes Stage Manager Dora Tomassi and Assistant Stage Manager Annie McWhinnie.

Star Chamber began preview performances on Thursday, June 25; opens Saturday, July 11; and plays in repertory until Sunday, October 11.

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