You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Brian Bishop’ tag.

Beni Malone as Greta

Beni Malone as Greta

When Martin Sherman‘s Bent premiered in 1979, audiences were still largely unaware of what happened to pink triangles in concentration camps. “Survivors didn’t talk about it, because in Germany homosexuality was still against the law when the war ended,” director Sandy Gow of c2c theatre points out. Now, three decades later, it has carved out a position of prominence amongst its contemporaries.

“The play always feels immediate to me. Most days I don’t even think of it as a period piece,” Gow admits. “It’s full of energy, and even though it’s set against one of the worst events in history, it’s allowed to feel good sometimes. I still remember reading the first scene and laughing out loud. We need those moments; otherwise the ending would be too hard.”

Bent is about a “self-indulgent, charming” character named Max who is on the run from the SS in Berlin following the Night of the Long Knives in pre-war Germany.  He is accused of homosexual relations, eventually caught and relegated to Dachau.  Gow approached the script’s serious subject matter knowing, “it was important to address it openly and honesty, but not to drown in it.”

Gow specifically noted the talents of Andrew Whalen, Calvin Powell and George Robertson who have taken on the roles of the Gestapo, SS Guard, Officer and Captain. “Sherman didn’t shy away from the brutality these men inflicted, so we’ve jumped into the deep end with him. Working with violence and weapons onstage has been part of the experience. It’s important for it to not overwhelm the play, but the physical danger of the time has to live alongside the love story.”

Before the casting process, Gow already had her Max in mind and wanted Philip Goodridge for the role.  Interesting considering Sherman also had the actor whom he wanted to cast in that role in mind as early as initial drafts – Sir Ian McKellen.  Gow confessed, however, that “finding Horst was a challenge since the relationship between the two prisoners is thorny but extremely intimate at times.”

Bent Poster

Bent Poster

Ultimately, Jon Montes’ memorable audition led him to the part and Gow couldn’t be happier, gushing that “his Horst brings out the best in Max,” which is the best anyone could hope for in a loving relationship, regardless of surroundings. “This is a play about Max embracing who he is in the face of hatred and cruelty and being strong enough to feel the things he so desperately tries not to.”

Bent is known for one of the greatest love scenes of all time, despite the fact that there is no touch at all and Gow says that Goodridge and Montes have been “fearless” about approaching the intense moments.

The show’s strong cast has fully committed to the show as well.  Gow’s favorite aspect of the show is that the audience never leaves Max and other characters weave in and out, exposing glimpses that show how they all effect, love and change Max. “There was a lot of excitement and many that auditioned already had copies of the script or had previously studied it. When I asked Beni Malone to play Greta, he already had his copy on the shelf and Mack Furlong had been to the original production in 1979.”  Rounding out the cast are James Hawksley and Keith Pike.

The set, designed by Sam Pryse-Phillips and lit by Brian Bishop, allows for the show to move through a number of transitory settings that include an apartment to a bar, park to forest and a train to the concentration camp. The sound design was created by Shannon Hawes.  c2c theatre’s presentation of Bent will run from April 1-5 2009 in the Basement Theatre with a PWYC matinee on Saturday, April 4th at 2pm. Tickets are $20.00 and are on sale at the Arts and Culture Centre Box Office or order them by calling 729-3900. In c2c theatre tradition, they invite those attending on opening night to stay after the show for a small reception with the cast.

Advertisements

originally published January 2008

With more then 200 productions around the world, Salt Water Moon is one of the hallmark theatrical contributions from Newfoundland and Labrador.  Our Gone with the Wind of sorts, the Globe and Mail described it as “an old-fashioned love song that is as affecting, funny and as evocative as a dream.”  It tells the story of Mary who is a teenager with “steel in her heart,” but when her ex Jacob returns from Toronto he decides to try and win her back, except she’s engaged to a school teacher.  The story unfolds in Coley’s Point back in 1926 during the month of August and the production will feature a fully custom built set.  With the production running right through Valentine’s Day, this story of rediscovering love might be best offered up and shared with that special someone.  Current caught up with the production’s producer from Theatre St. John’s, Keith Pike for more details on what you can expect!

Can you tell me about Theatre St. John’s?
The idea for Theatre St. John’s was born at a fundraising gala in October of 2007. The gala showcased some of the finest actors and singers in the province. This diverse talent within Newfoundland inspired the creation of TSJ.

We are committed to growth and development, following our mandate.  Our goals are to produce professional-calibre theatre; to produce and workshop new pieces from within the province and Canada; and to nurture the talents of up-and-coming actors and directors from across the province and across the nation.

With the young people of Newfoundland and Labrador in mind, we will also enact an educational initiative. Our casts and personnel will work one-on-one with high school students in and around St. John’s to foster the development of their talent.

Why this ‘classic’ script?
Salt Water Moon is play known internationally, one of Newfoundland’s greatest hits. I thought it was a good time for it to be produced in St. John’s.

Is there anything in the script that attracted you to produce it, personally?
When I studied theatre at Sheridan College I did a scene study of the play and immediately fell in love with the characters and their story. Jacob and Mary are funny, smart, bashful and endearing. Who wouldn’t fall in love with them!?

How did you and Petrina come together for this production?
Petrina and I worked on a show this time last year with the company. It was then that I approached her about directing the show. A year went by and many chat’s later, here we are! I’m thrilled to have her on board!

What can people expect from the show?
People can expect a beautiful play – Colin (Jacob) and Willow (Mary) are perfect for their roles. They bring so much to the table and to their characters – they are truly 2 of Newfoundland’s finest.

Who created the lighting design?
Brian Bishop is our lighting designer, it’s my first time working with him. I’ve seen his work with c2c – I’m a big fan.

What was the casting process like?
We held auditions last June, however Willow and Colin were out of town for them. Petrina had worked with Colin and Willow prior to Salt Water Moon and thought they would be perfect for the roles and Petrina was right!

How can people check out the production?
Salt Water Moon will run from February 11th – 15th with a curtain time of 8pm at the Majestic Theatre. Tickets are $20 and are available at the Holy Heart Box office or by calling 579-4424.

follow me @jjmoxy

makin’ sense of it all

keepin’ track of it all

September 2017
M T W T F S S
« Oct    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930  
%d bloggers like this: