All the stage’s our world!

I’m still on a high from this weekend.


This past weekend saw two performances of KILL SHAKESPEARE: THE LIVE STAGE READING and they were a smash!  Our Saturday night show was standing room only and the crowd loved it.  The Sunday matinee show went so incredibly smoothly and was a great way to end our weekend.  The fans of Kill Shakespeare were treated to seeing a favourite book of theirs come to life while newcomers to our story became instant fans.

Conor and Anthony with Albert Schultz and director Derek Boyes (photo taken by Steven Pigozzo)

The only shame from this weekend is that we were unable to do any recording of the show – either video or audio.  If we could have we would have already posted some images her on our site.  Alas, ’twas not to be, and thus I do not have many photos to post here today.

I have been working on this project with Conor for almost four years now and it was great to see our entire story come to life like it did.  The show I felt when Rick Roberts manned the voice of Falstaff for his first appearance in our story – amazing.  The crowd loved him.  They laughed along with Falstaff, enjoyed the appearance of someone from Juliet’s past, were dazzled by Falstaff and Iago’s final appearances, and enjoyed Greg’s take on our melancholy Dane.

This is the moment that brought back the original inspiration for me.

My favourite moment, though – in both shows – was the balcony scene.  This was one of the first ideas for a sequence when we first conceived Kill Shakespeare over eight years ago and in doing all of this work I forgot how cool a sequence it is.  When the crowd started to chuckle and then enjoy the romantic moment, all of my original love of the scene came back to me in a big way.  THIS moment is really what makes Kill Shakespeare for me.

And I’m so glad that the audiences enjoyed it.  This is why Conor and I chose to work on this project – to entertain audiences.  And this weekend we did.

There are so many people to thank.  First off, Andy for his fantastic artwork and for putting together all of the slides for the show.

Artist Andy Belanger with Becky Cloonan at our premiere party at Balzac's

The entire team at the Young Centre and Soulpepper – Claire Sakaki, Liza Paul, Lisa Li, Katie Saunoris, T.J. Tasker – everyone.  You were all a treat to work with and oversaw so many things for us.

Thanks to those that assisted us this weekend – Ken, Christine, Ben, Christine at Balzac’s and Spearhead Beer for sponsoring our premiere party.

The actors themselves – Sarah (Lady M), Michelle (Juliet), John (Chorus, Shakespeare), Greg (Hamlet), Brandon (Romeo), Rick (Falstaff/Richard 3), Toby (Iago), Andre (Othello).  You guys really brought our characters to life and you will leave a lasting impression on our work moving forward.

Toby Malone is the dramaturge at Soulpepper and really helped us fine-tune our script into the 90-minute spectacle that it became.  Thanks so much for being a fan of our story before even coming

Dramaturge (and actor) Toby Malone with Anthony

on board this interpretation and guiding us throughout the process.

The director for this show was Derek Boyes, who guided the entire ship with a strong eye and vision throughout.  He included us in the entire process and was the one insisting that we be on stage with the entire cast.

Thanks to Don Shipley for being the first person to reach out to us and put us in contact with the organizers of the festival.

And finally, thanks to Albert Schultz, the artistic director at Soulpepper, for being a driving force in the Word Festival and helping to mentor us.  Albert is one of the shining lights in Canadian theatre history (if you ask me) and has always been an inspiration for me; to now have worked with him is something I’m quite proud of.

And now we move forward with the project, with many more achievements ahead of us…

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  1. [...] intrigued to see Kill Shakespeare go further on stage (and miffed that I missed out on the Soulpepper version a few weeks ago). The lads mention that the stage adaptation tidies up some of the [...]

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