This year’s season at the Stratford Festival was to open on May 25 and aficionados could attend a premier every night. Covid-19 cancelled that and much more. In fact, all live theatre productions have been cancelled and you cannot find a play, a concert or an opera during the pandemic for love or money.
Wrong. There are lots of high-quality productions of just about everything available. Not live unfortunately but on film. All you have to do is look. Here are a few examples.
You may not see this year’s planned productions at the Stratford Festival but there are productions from previous years that you can still enjoy.
The 2017 production of Timon of Athens can be seen on your computer or television until June 11. Stephen Ouimette directed this praiseworthy production of one of Shakespeare’s lesser known plays and it is worth watching. Timon is a rich man who is generous to a fault. He squanders his wealth and when he is left with nothing all his “friends” abandon him.
The 2018 historic and masterful production of The Tempest directed by Antoni Cimolino with the great Martha Henry in the title role is available until June 4. Martha Henry played the role of Miranda in 1962, her first season at Stratford. Fifty-six years later she took on the role of Prospero in an astounding performance. It is worth seeing even if you saw it live last year.
The 2015 production of Hamlet with Jonathan Goad, directed by Antoni Cimolino, may not be to everyone’s taste but it is still worth seeing. Seana McKenna is superb as Gertrude. It garnered mixed reviews and you may wish to decide for yourself.
Love’s Labour’s Lost features intricate language, rich allusions and a plot that could be a yawner. Do not let it stop you from delving into the play through this amazing production directed by John Caird.
In 2016 Antoni Cimolino directed Macbeth with his usual attention to detail, his innate theatricality and the display of his marvelous imagination. Ian Lake played Macbeth and Krystin Pellerin was Lady Macbeth.
There are more productions coming up during the summer. Details of dates and production credits are available at the Festival’s website: https://www.stratfordfestival.ca/athome