The Hamilton Spectator on "Hamlet"

A Fresh Take on a Shakespeare Classic.  "You'll find yourself more than just a walk-on.  You'll be a part of everything that happens." Read Gary Smith's preview of Hamlet in The Hamilton Spectator.

Padre Pio, a romantic comedy with a saint at the centre

Read about the play in this recent Hamilton Spectator article:

"Talking with Peter, Peter and John is like speaking with three disciples of the theatre.

Each has a story to tell. Each is bound up with a theatrical project that defies easy categorization. Each insists Padre Pio, the new musical they are presenting, isn't solely a religious experience..." 
Read More
.

---

Read the review of Padre Pio in The View

"Be charmed and entertained by a fine gem of a show"    Read More.

---

"Eric Luvisotto’s Padre Pio is fantastic" according to the review by Aha Blume in Monkeybiz

"Escape the winter blahs by attending the engaging and original Padre Pio..."  Read More

 

Past Productions

Click here to learn more about our past productions.

Other Related Newspaper Articles and Reviews

Click here for past reviews of other productions featuring company members.

"With theatre we express reality not as we experience it, but as we believe it to be true."

Wednesday
Jan092013

MacBeth - Nov/Dec 2012

Directed by Peter Anderson and Tyler Brent
Production Co-ordinator: Steve Newman

Cast
(In order of appearance)

Annie McLean - First Witch
Teresa Janes - Second Witch
Michael Zimmerman - Third Witch and Second Murderer
Ron Collingwood -Bar patron
Jim Jeffrey - Bar patron
Steve O'Brien - Duncan, Macduff and First Murderer
Nick Kozij - Malcolm, Fleance, Son, Lennox and Seyton
Tyler Brent - Sergeant, Doctor, and Siward
Aha Blume - Ross, Porter, Attendant
Peter Anderson - Macbeth and Third Murderer
William LeGood - Banquo, Menteith and Servant
Laura Ellis - Lady Macbeth
Justine Dennis - Servant
Theresa Cooke - Hecate, Lady Macduff and Gentlewoman

Wednesday
Dec052012

The Classical Theatre Company’s Macbeth: A Theatre Review

By Caden Brody

Originally published in Monkeybiz.ca,  Tuesday, December 4, 2012 01:10 PM

The Classical Theatre Company’s Macbeth drops the famous play in today’s corporate world and makes it believable while remaining true to The Bard’s original intent. Co-directed by Peter Anderson, who brings the role of Macbeth to life with visceral energy and admirable singleness of focus, and Tyler Brent, acting as Doctor and Siward with equal passion and skill, the play is a group effort. All the actors are there purely for love of the play.

The ensemble is comprised of people of diverse life experience. There is an art director who works in Toronto advertising agencies (William LeGood) who is stellar as Banquo and Mentieth (I couldn’t stop thinking how powerful his stage presence was every time he appeared), to Laura Ellis, a graduate of Fanshawe College’s Theatre Arts program, who is delightful as Lady Macbeth, to Theresa Cooke, a theatre veteran who is brilliantly diabolical as Hecate, wonderfully sympathetic as Lady MacDuff and Gentlewoman, and on it goes from lawyers to administrators. The special effects are well done and perfectly timed. Best bubbling, smoking cauldron scene I’ve ever seen.

When I first saw mobile phones and Jackson-Triggs wine bottles on stage, and the actors in modern business attire I must admit I thought I had the wrong play. Five minutes in I realized they were employing the language and plot of Shakespeare’s Macbeth to tell a bloody tale of an executive’s relentless climb up the corporate ladder with the inevitable consequences of those actions.

Shakespeare remains timeless and this fast-paced performance by the Classical Theatre Company makes one feel one is in the thick of the action, something it takes tremendous talent to accomplish.

As Macbeth, Anderson, whose previous credits include Mark Antony, Dracula and Henry James, maintains the same energy and believability as the volatile lead character from the plays’ opening to the final curtain call. Laura Ellis plays Lady Macbeth with impeccable timing and flair. In the program every single cast and crew member state that they are grateful to be in the play, and thank Anderson and Brent.

Aha Blume, who takes on the roles of Ross, Porter, First and Second Apparitions, explains, “Everyone worked really hard, it was an ensemble and couldn’t have been done without everyone’s participation.” Every player on that stage echoes those sentiments as one. They work as a team, supporting one another. That they genuinely enjoy working together shows in a lively, flawlessly timed performance, true to Shakepeare’s lines and message. A timeless tale told in this case in our time period. I recommend seeing it. You’ll find yourself so immersed in the action that the time flies by, and I can honestly say you’ll be talking about it for days afterwards.

 

Saturday
Dec012012

Review of Classical Theatre Company’s Macbeth (Shakespeare) Thursday, November 29, 2012

 

By Tom Mackan
The View

While waiting during preshow, I found the mix of house and moody pre-set stage lighting gave the black of the stage walls a faint glistening as if catching some glow from a baronial fireplace. Nice. The setting is a large room, effectively suggested by the handsome refectory table set upstage centre, a fine chair placed above, its polished trim catching the red of the dim overhead Fresnel lamps, emitting a sense of lurking lushness, a seat of power. Expectations rising. This is, after all, to be a production of Macbeth, the tragic 11th century Scottish lord who self-destructs in a series of blood baths that he might realize a prophecy of some witches that he was destined to be King. 

Lights down, actors to places in the black, lights up, and expectations need emergency adjustment immediately… not a medieval baronial castle, but alas, a 21st century drinking place of low character featuring a trio of witches. Well, we accept this and carry on with the mixed results, not all bad, but disappointing on the whole. It takes a while to catch the contemporary in this show, but the costumes give it away slowly, followed by a Blackberry i-phone and other impedimenta of modern life. Let’s say this, that the determined cleverness of the modernizing devices works, but to what purpose? As the well-known plot unfolds there’s really not much to justify moving from medieval clan power struggle to our own corporate high-rise shenanigans.

As Macbeth, Anderson gives an intense performance, a searching and complicated tragic hero much more akin to the 11th than the 21st century. Strong in emotional variety, but somewhat uneven in vocal delivery, only faintly audible at times, and rushing the iambs into throaty expletives at other times, but his Macbeth is marvelously dangerous, a once strong limb of a majestic oak the heavy ambition of which is more than the oak can bear, and in Shakespearian thunder and lightning, must needs collapse carrying all with it.  It’s an over-all masterful performance, his wide expressive eyes glaring helplessly into the void of his own making. It begs for a simple tunic and leggings and never mind the i-phones and toy guns. Let’s have a light chain mail, not a bullet-proof vest. But I quibble, I admit.

He is impressively supported by Laura Ellis as a startlingly luscious Lady Macbeth. Ellis has the acting goods to accompany her determined dynastic blood lust and cashes them in here in a stunning performance. As expected, in his dual roles of Duncan and Macduff, pre-eminent local actor Steve O’Brien brings to the language of the Bard his enviable gifts of speech and creative understanding. While younger and less seasoned, the admirable performance of Nick Kozij as Malcolm is awesome. There is a confidence in his grasp of Shakespeare’s language to sit you up in your seat with a grateful debt of gratitude for his work. In their scene together in England as Macduff and Malcolm, O’Brien and Kozij are easily the best Shakespearians of the show.  

Actor Theresa Cooke too, commands the stage with ease in her expression and presence, ever in her moment, nothing wasted, especially as Hecate. Another strong performance comes from William LeGood (so aptly named!) as the betrayed Banquo. He is intelligently well-contained in style, with an enviable sense of stillness in his moments. Tyler Brent is as comfortable on stage as he is off as co-Director. His small role as Doctor is especially notable in its polish. Aha Blume makes the most of her several functional roles with generous energy. Her Porter is delightful. Of the three witches, Annie McLean’s and Teresa Janes’ acting smarts keep Michael Zimmerman’s skills up to scratch effectively, and in smaller rolls, Ron Collingwood, Jim Jeffrey,  and Justine Dennis bring credit to the company for strong supporting work. 

Pacing and direction keep the action moving. Lighting overdoes the moody a bit heavily, but works, smoke and fog FX good, music choices from Carl Orff through Beethoven find a home most of the time… Excellent work from Steve Newman in the booth as Production Co-ordinator.  Advice to C.T.C.?  Save the contemporary take on classics for the future when resources and time allow.

Page 1 2