Currently in its 21st season, Bard on the Beach is surely one of the cultural treasures of Vancouver. The compelling performances and amazing natural backdrop make for a unique theatrical experience that everyone should experience at least once.
I recently attended a performance of Antony and Cleopatra, having won tickets through a Vancity Buzz contest (thanks again, guys!). Despite studying Shakespeare for years, Antony and Cleopatra is one of the few of the Bard’s plays that I had never read, so I often struggled to follow along with the many scene changes between Rome and Egypt. The lead actors were a joy to watch, though, and I stopped trying to analyze the play and simply sat back and appreciated their performances.
In particular, I enjoyed the inventive solution for depicting the two major battle scenes. With limited space and just a few actors, the battles came alive through the use of large banners which sailed and dipped, surged and attacked.
This year’s Bard on the Beach season also includes Henry V, Falstaff and — one of my personal favourites — Much Ado About Nothing. Visit the Bard on the Beach website for the complete schedule and to purchase tickets online.
For a special treat, check out the Bard on the Beach Lecture Series: Dr. Paul Budra from Simon Fraser University “shares his insights into each of this season’s plays.” Next up is Much Ado About Nothing on July 17, and you can combine the 10:30am lecture with a 3pm matinee of the play.