by Paula Citron
Gary Kirkham’s Queen Milli of Galt is a big hit at the Blyth Festival. The intriguing story involves the Canadian woman Millicent Milroy and Edward, Prince of Wales, later the Duke of Windsor. Milroy claimed on her tombstone that she had married Edward on his 1919 Canadian tour.
At the beginning, Milli is an embittered young woman who has lost her fiancé in the Great War – and Ingrid Haas presents a stirring portrait of an ice maiden whose heart is melted by the handsome prince.
For his part, Darren Keay gives a superb reading of a complicated Edward who is charming, petulant and spoiled. He is also tyrannized by his father King George even though he is thousands of miles away – which makes Edward’s response to Milli’s down-to-earth honesty all the more believable.
The rest of the cast is strong, and director Eric Coates draws out the emotions without gratuitous sentiment.
Queen Milli of Galt continues until Aug. 11.
From the Blyth Memorial Hall, I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.