Howard Barker's The Castle
ROTC brings Howard Barker's The Castle to The Storefront Theatre.
Red One Theatre Collective's Benjamin Blais (Cockfight, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, SHREW), stars as Stucley, ringleader of an army of soldiers returned home from the Crusades to find the women they left behind have established their own non-hierarchical, female-centric society. Opposite Blais is Lynda Prystawska (Stratford festival, Canstage Angels in America, Videocab) as Stucley's wife, Ann, who has filled the void of her husband's absence with the widow/witch and unofficial leader of the women, Skinner played by Claire Burns (ROTC's SHREW, The Skriker, Blyth Festival). In an attempt to reassert male dominance Stucley commissions the erection of a giant castle, the construction of which serves as a reminder to the kingdom's inhabitants: THE PATRIARCHY IS BACK. The women of the realm, however, are not going to relinquish power so easily, the matriarchy is here to stay.
The power struggle among Stucley, Ann, and Skinner, is accentuated by a cast of characters that would leave George RR Martin spinning. The ensemble includes some of Canada's finest actors including Dora Award-nominated Mike Dufays (Daniel McIvor's Arigato, Tokyo), Brenhan McKibben (Cockfight, ROTC's SHREW) Michael Spencer-Davis (Stratford festival, Taming of the Shrew, Possible Worlds), Lynne Griffin (Stratford festival, Shaw festival), Sean Sullivan (Gemini award nominated for The Associates), Joshua Browne (Avaricious, Theatre Gargantua), Mark Burgess, Robert Naismith, and Jeff Hanson (Edmond, ROTC's SHREW) playing pivotal roles in the construction of Barker's rarely produced, deliciously entertaining battle of the sexes.
The Castle comes to life via Claire Hill's innovative set design, costumes by Holly Lloyd, lighting by Melissa Joakim, and a sublime score composed by Dimitar Pentchev. Caterwaul Theatre's Erin Fleck and Sarah Fairlie round out the production team with their macabre puppet design.
Barker gives us men and women willing to kill in the name of race, religion, and gender.
Welcome to the Dark Ages.
The Storefront Theatre (View)
955 Bloor Street West
Toronto, ON M6H 1L7