The Arts

On the Rocks

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Reviewed by Paula Citron
August 17, 2011

On the Rocks
Shaw Festival
Written by George Bernard Shaw (adapted by Michael Healey)
Directed by Joseph Ziegler
Featuring Peter Krantz, Steven Sutcliffe, Guy Bannerman, Anthony Beckenn, Mary Haney, Thom Marriott, Marla McLean, Cherissa Richards and David Schurmann
Court House Theatre
Jun. 14 to Oct. 8, 2011

I have another run-don’t-walk at the Shaw Festival.

Shaw’s 1933 play, On the Rocks, has been given a clever adaptation by Michael Healy who has astutely extracted the significant inner core from the Shavian mass of words. Shaw’s subtitle is “A Political Comedy” and it could be ripped from today’s headlines.

The Liberal leader, Sir Arthur Chavender, is prime minister of a British coalition government. He plans to implement a sweeping platform of laws to solve the ills of the country. Every group in the nation will be affected – landlords, capitalists, labour, the armed forces and the police.

The main conflict is between Chavender, played by Peter Krantz, and his Conservative leader coalition partner, Sir Dexter Rightside, performed by Steven Sutcliffe.

Director Joseph Ziegler and the sterling Shaw ensemble have guaranteed a sparkling debate of ideas. It’s living history.

Special mention to the superb performances of David Schurmann and Guy Bannerman.

On the Rocks continues at the Court House Theatre until Oct. 8.

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