“Where the spotlight is, there the despots will gather.”
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario . . . Peace in Our Time: A Comedy by celebrated Canadian playwright John Murrell, a reworking of Bernard Shaw’s political comedy Geneva, is being performed at the Shaw Festival’s Court House Theatre.
Under the direction of Blair Williams, Shaw’s piercing look at international diplomacy and justice not only becomes a rollicking ride of affairs of state that muddles politics and the Marx Brothers, but also ponders the question: why can’t we get along?
A German, a Canadian and a Latin American walk into the dysfunctional League of Nations diplomatic office. Belle Browning (Diana Donnelly), a plucky, albeit under qualified, receptionist attempts to respond to their grievances; however, she unknowingly sets in motion an international incident that concludes with an outrageous trial at The Hague.Here, the world’s most feared dictators — Il Duce (Neil Barclay), Der Führer (Ric Reid) and El Generalísimo (Lorne Kennedy) — take centre stage and attempt to defend their controversial and brutal actions, but end up as comical shadows of their historical selves in this exuberant, yet still provocative, adaptation of one of Shaw’s later works.
The world of Peace in Our Time: A Comedy was created by Camellia Koo (set design), Victoria Wallace (costume design), Kevin Lamotte (lighting design) and Zachary Florence (composer).
This is the second play in the Festival’s program devoted to re-examining and revitalizing Shaw’s later, less known plays. The Shaw’s first re-mix was Michael Healey’s fresh and irreverent adaptation of Shaw’s On the Rocks in 2011.
Geneva was last seen at The Shaw in 1988.
About Peace in Our Time: A Comedy
Until October 12
Peace in Our Time: A Comedy will be on stage at the Court House Theatre (26 Queen Street, Niagara-on-the-Lake)
Cast (in alphabetical order):
The British Foreign Secretary
Doña Dolores Ochoa
The Secretary of the League of Nations
Commissar Elizaveta Poskaya
The Senior Judge
Assistant Stage Manager
The Shaw Festival’s 2013 season runs until November 3 and features 10 productions presented on the Festival’s four Niagara-on-the-Lake stages. For more information on our 2013 season, performance schedule and ticket information, please visit www.shawfest.com or call 1-800-511-SHAW.
The Shaw Festival is a theatre company inspired by the work of Bernard Shaw. We produce plays from and about his era and contemporary plays that share Shaw’s provocative exploration of society and celebration of humanity.