Spending Thanksgiving with Rumpole of the Bailey

Leo McKern transforms into the barrister with personality, magnificent inflection and dry wit

Spending Thanksgiving with Rumpole of the BaileyThanksgiving in Canada is a wonderful, relaxing time. Turkey dinner with family. Football games and baseball playoffs. Listening to music. Catching up on reading. How could you ask for anything better? As it happens, I can add one cherry on top of the proverbial sundae. I was able to go through my DVD collection of…

Director examines colonization in production of classical play

Actor, playwright, director, producer Reneltta Arluk returns to U of A as first Indigenous woman to direct on Timms Centre’s main stage

Director examines colonization in production of classical playReneltta Arluk admits being the first Indigenous woman to graduate from the University of Alberta’s BFA acting program in 2005 was a hard-won distinction. In a moment of frank disclosure, Arluk recalls confronting no small measure of racial bias among certain faculty members who made her feel she had no right to be there. Some…

Christmas pantomime a charming holiday tradition

There’s no requirement to stick to the details of the original story. The entertainment imperative trumps ‘authenticity’ every time

Christmas pantomime a charming holiday traditionPeople raised in North America aren’t usually exposed to the phenomenon of the Christmas pantomime. Some might even think it has something to do with mime, which it most assuredly doesn’t. But those who grew up in Britain or Ireland will have an entirely different perspective. Pantomime – panto for short – is an integral…

Three political dramas worth watching

Think of them as a form of therapy, a way of easing back to everyday life while still experiencing the atmospherics of the political arena

Three political dramas worth watchingIf you’re suffering withdrawal pangs from the wind down of the American election, here are three political dramas to assist your transition. Think of them as a form of therapy, a way of easing back to everyday life while still experiencing the atmospherics of the political arena. Subject matter aside, the films have two things…

Is intolerance doing permanent damage to artistic integrity?

Special interest groups demanding a say in casting choices flies in the face of diversity and freedom of expression

Is intolerance doing permanent damage to artistic integrity?Visiting the Globe Theatre in London, England, is an unforgettable experience. When viewing the modest grounds and realizing that the ‘groundlings’ – the people in the cheap seats – were sometimes privileged to see original Shakespeare plays, it brings home the long and important history of the performing arts. On our tour of the theatre,…

Stratford offers cultural and culinary feasts

From world-class theatre to fine food to fascinating history to micro breweries and distilleries, you'll find plenty to enjoy in this southwest Ontario city

Stratford offers cultural and culinary feastsMy favourite summer visit is Stratford, in southwest Ontario. It's an inviting locale with culture, fine food, history and world-class theatre. Stratford Festival musicals are a prime source of revenue, and with H.M.S. Pinafore at the Avon Theatre and Guys and Dolls at the Festival Theatre, artistic director Anthony Cimolino has added two more winners…