A.C.T. Presents the World Premiere Translation of Racine's Phèdre by Timberlake Wertenbaker
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The last date listed for Phèdre by Jean Racine, translated and adapted by Timberlake Wertenbaker was Sunday February 7, 2010 / 2:00pm.
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In this modern masterwork -- critically praised as a unique mix of Oscar Wilde and Bertolt Brecht -- the great Irish writer George Bernard Shaw pits a military industrialist against his crusading daughter. She's a Salvation Army major; he's an arms manufacturer and whiskey distiller -- on certain issues, they could not disagree more. But when he begins donating money to her organization, matters come to a head as the characters grapple with questions of business, faith, family and philanthropy. After 16 years, A.C.T. brings Shaw back to the stage with this co-production with Theatre Calgary, one of A.C.T.'s favorite Canadian collaborators, featuring an international cast of Canadian and American actors. Learn More
Reviews & Ratings
Featured review from Goldstar Member
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I usually really enjoy the productions at A.C.T., but this one simply was not up the par.... at all. The main problem was the script and the direction. The actors seemed to be doing their best with the material, but even great actors can get lost without a decent director. Essentially this was a Roman drama (that sometimes made reference to Greek gods), with Elizabethan era costumes, on an industrial, almost futuristic-looking set. It was all very jarring. It didn't help that the audience laughed at inappropriate times. Phedre was so overly dramatic that it was almost comical (and at the end, her breasts almost fell out of her top -- not sure if that was supposed to be on purpose or if it was an accident). At one point I heard someone snoring in the audience. It was just a bad show -- which is surprising since a lot of very talented people were involved. Oh well. I guess you can't win them all. I haven't lost faith in A.C.T., but I also don't recommend this show to anyone. You'll have more fun renting a movie and staying in for the night.
Quotes & Highlights
- A smoldering tale of erotic obsession" —Backstage.com
- "Brilliant . . . it's dazzling. This is work of the highest caliber. If you want to see a fine tragic actress at the height of her powers tackling one of the great dramatic roles in the canon, now is your chance." —Toronto Star
- "Intelligent . . . McKenna holds the Canadian patent on Greek tragedy." —National Post
- "McKenna gives a strong performance, treading the arc of her character's descent into madness and more with sure-footed skill. . . . Perloff imposes an elegant sense of understatement on the high drama of the tale." —Toronto Sun
Tales of illicit passion weave through ancient power struggles as the world-renowned Stratford Shakespeare Festival joins A.C.T. for this gripping premiere. Making her West Coast debut, internationally acclaimed Stratford actor Seana McKenna portrays the legendary Phèdre, the wife of King Theseus. As passions erupt, will her desire for a younger man overwhelm her duty to her husband, her son, and her kingdom? A new adaptation by Timberlake Wertenbaker (A.C.T.'s Hecuba and Antigone, Our Country's Good), Phèdre is a potent mix of rich poetry, political intrigue, and sexual jealousy.