SHAW festival – Niagara

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SHAW festival
Perfect lakeside picnic

The SHAW festival – theatrical perfection

More plays on offer for us at the SHAW theatre festival in the beautiful historic town of Niagara on the Lake.

Peter and the Starcatcher was a high energy romp through a play which imagines the story of how Peter Pan came to be in existence, before his appearance in the famous novel.  Some very funny lines and lots of physical comedy made this more for a family audience.

There was quite a bit of acrobatics going on in the rigging. It is interesting how connected ships and theatres used to be. 500 years ago most of the scenery was on heavy canvas. Sailors were employed to hang it and operate cables and pulleys as they ‘knew the ropes.’ It is also why the stage floor is called the deck, other locations around it include bridges and bays. The technical staff are the ‘crew.’ It is good to have a girl as the adventurous lead too.

SHAW festival
Island adventures for Peter and friends

SHAW – the Twelve Pound Look

JM Barrie pops up again as the author of the topical short play – the Twelve Pound Look. This rarely performed play, explores the question of financial independence for women.

SHAW festival
The twelve pound look

Women were wives and mothers first and foremost and respectable occupations were limited. The first wife of the soon to be Lord Simms leaves him purely because her life with him was stifling. She realises she could earn twelve pounds by buying a typewriter and taking in work,  meaning she can survive on her own.

The current, soon to be lady Simms is constantly patronised by her husband who thinks he just needs to bedeck her in more jewels to keep her happy. She becomes intrigued by the idea that maybe she too might be able to escape her golden chains. It is a feminist piece played with a delightful light touch.

SHAW festival
Love on the rocks

SHAW festival – The Lady from the Sea

 ‘The Lady from the Sea’, is a beautifully written one act piece by Ibsen. Moya O’Connell as Ellida, is a SHAW regular and this part fitted her like a glove I have to say. She is torn between the romantic ideal of her lost sea faring lover, and the more prosaic reality of her steadfast older husband.

I particularly liked it because it illustrated the fact that the way you think about something is the same as your actual experience of it. If you are always yearning for what you might have had you may miss out on the chance to be happy with what you’ve got. Not a new idea, but one so very ably illustrated by a lovely cast in a lovely play. And it’s got a happy ending.

SHAW festival
More prime real estate

Top Girls

The final play we saw was Cary Churchill’s Top Girls which is a more modern piece.  Although beautifully staged as always, the play is just not as well written as some of the more classic pieces and I felt that the SHAW’s very best actresses were playing in something which just wasn’t quite as good as they were. It was still better than lots of other things you might see elsewhere, but I suppose my expectations are very high.

SHAW festival
I’m fine in a straight line..

Cycling in Niagara on the Lake

We had a lovely day cycling along the river path on bikes courtesy of Grape Escape.  Cycling off along the flat, breath-takingly pretty cycle path route, we pedaled all the way from the Lake along the river, which ends at Niagara Falls itself.

The countryside is gorgeous and the cycling is easy as it’s very flat. A delicious picnic made up of local produce put the icing on the cake on a lovely day.

SHAW festival
Five piece picnic

Check out the SHAW festival trailer here!


SHAW festival
Have tractor – will travel

Check out more SHAW festival fun here