Posted July 9, 2009 by Adam Toren in Blogs

Bard On The Beach

bardonbeachWhen my girlfriend invited me to go to a preview of All’s Well That Ends Well at Bard on the Beach this past weekend, I jumped at the chance.

This year marks the Bard’s 20th year in Vancouver and they are still running strong. It has become a summer tradition for many Vancouver-ites. The sold out 2007 season saw an impressive 87,271 seats sold. Founded in 1990 with a rented tent, the first play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream debuted. This year four plays are now playing, under several tents with sponsorship from Starbuck’s. This year’s lineup consists of four classic plays: The Comedy of Errors, Othello, All’s Well That Ends Well and Richard II. The plays run every evening except Monday, with matinee’s on selected dates until September 26th.

All’s Well That Ends Well began with the tradition of Christopher Gaze (Bard’s Artistic Director) welcoming the audience and introducing the play. Set in the smaller of the tents it was cozy and intimate. We sat to the left of the stage with an excellent view of the entire stage and set. With the way the stage was positioned, it was impossible to have a bad seat. Helena (played by Lois Anderson) is deeply in love with Bertram (played by Craig Erickson). Her deceased father, a physician, had developed a cure for the ailment that plagues the King. She convinces the King to allow her to treat him, he is cured and as a result grants her the hand of any nobleman of her choosing. She picks the unwilling and uninterested Bertram. After the eve of their wedding he flees for Italy before consummating the marriage. Helena follows Bertram to Florence and with the help of Diana (played by Celine Stubel), the young woman Bertram has been attempting to seduce since his arrival in Italy, devises a plot to trick Bertram into realizing his love for Helena and to return home to her. What follows is a series of mishaps and hilarious situations. Full of comedy and innuendo’s, this is easily on of my favorite Shakespeare plays.

The acting was great, my favorite character would have to have been Mariana, the pregnant neighbor of Diana, played by Haig Sutherland, complete with belly, rouge and a five o’clock shadow. An excellent twist that produced many giggles from the audience. The stage and scenery designer Pam Johnson did an excellent job, using only a few, but versatile props to create the various scenes that set the mood of the 1600’s accurately. The costumes by Mara Gottler were awe-inspiring. Made from intricate and opulent fabrics the dresses, petticoats, jewelry and hats were absolutely beautiful.

Make sure to bring a sweater and a blanket as it tends to get chilly as the sun sets, and be sure to pickup some hot cocoa, tea or coffee during intermission provided by everyone’s favorite Starbuck’s.

For more information or ticket purchase visit: www.bardonthebeach.org

Adam Toren

Adam Toren
Adam Toren is born and raised in Vancouver BC and loves everything Vancouver BC has to offer. He loves traveling and exploring new and unique restaurants and places around the world.