The Scarborough Players’ production of Arms and the Man opens this Friday, June 30, at Scarborough Village Theatre, 3600 Kingston Rd.
What do a Swiss mercenary who uses his pistol holder to carry chocolates, an idealistic young woman with little worldly experience, her less than faithful fiancé and a social climbing headstrong and flirtatious maid have in common? Since the successful 1894 premiere of Arms and the Man, audiences have delighted in discovering the answer.
George Bernard Shaw’s sharp satire and good humour guide us to revisit our notions of fidelity, romantic love, and the nobility of war. It is considered one of Shaw’s most beloved comedies.
The title is derived from the Latin phrase which opens Virgil’s Aeneid an epic poem that glorifies war. Translated in English is reads: “Of arms and the man, I sing”.
Shaw’s use of this phrase, likely very well known in the late Victorian period as Latin was an obligatory subject, to satirize the futility of war and the hypocrisy of human nature has been celebrated since the show opened in 1894. The war and battle used in the original production would have been known to those Victorian audiences.
In the play, Shaw explores the nature of tangled loyalties and allegiances using somewhat ridiculous people to stand in for countries.
Scarborough Players welcomes back director Larry Westlake who is enjoying the opportunity to bring this play to life. His most recent work was directing Jake’s Women for Scarborough Theatre Guild.
Joining Westlake as producer is Alison Overington. June Watkins is taking the reigns as Stage Manager with help from Tony Jones as Assistant Stage Manager. New to the production team is Patsy Hamilton-Diabo creating props, Jasmyn Jaykes creating the sound design, and John Sellens lighting the show. Returning to do their magic are Greg Nowlan as set designer and master carpenter, Mary Nowlan and Katherine Turner finding costumes. Gloria King designing hair and make-up.
The cast includes Players’ veteran actor, Holm Bradwell as Bluntschli last seen as Jack Forrester in Storm Warning along with David Eden from the Curious Incident now as Major Petkoff.
New to Scarborough Players are Stefanie Goldhar as the less worldly Raina, Sarah Gazzola as the worldly servant, Louka, Kerri Henman as Catherine Petkof, the matriarch, Lucas Blakely as Sergius as the less than faithful fiancé, Caleb Upshaw as Nicola the servant, and Kevin McDonnell making his debut after working for the last few years building sets.
Arms and the Man is on stage at Scarborough Village Theatre from June 30 to July 15.
To order tickets, or for more information, visit https://theatrescarborough.com/ or call 416-267-9292. Tickets must be purchased in advance.
Theatre Scarborough’s three member organizations — Scarborough Players, Scarborough Music Theatre and Scarborough Theatre Guild— have been presenting high-caliber community theatre for a combined total of over 180 years. Each season, the groups present 11 productions — dramas, thrillers, musicals and comedies.