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Lest We Forget… October - November 2010 VideoCabaret remounts

THE GREAT WAR The History of the Village of the Small Huts, 1914-18 Previews from October 26, Opens November 3 for a Limited Run VideoCabaret at The Cameron House, 408 Queen Street West, Toronto Box Office and Group Bookings 416-703-1725 For more information:

Toronto, September 8, 2010… In time for Armistice Day and the season of Remembrance, VideoCabaret remounts Michael Hollingsworth's acclaimed production of The Great War, which saw sold-out houses every night of its initial run this past spring. “****... VideoCabaret is at the top of its game…The staging is remarkable, Andy Moro's multi-cue lighting is a tour de force, and the costumes of Astrid Janson and Sarah Armstrong are as imaginative and eye-catching as ever. If you've never seen VideoCab's unique work, this is the perfect place to start; if you have, you certainly won't want to miss this one.” -Toronto Star “****... A finely drilled team of artists in one of the season’s best shows…Hollingsworth's meticulous attention to detail, use of vivid colours and fluid storytelling transform the past into a graphic novel come to life while mowing down the myth that history is boring” -NOW Magazine “A broadly satirical treatment of the 'war to end all wars' that skillfully negotiates a bayonet's edge between farce and tragedy... Hollingsworth and his seven flexible actors... do a brilliant job of encapsulating both its lunacy and its horrors.” -The Globe and Mail Michael Hollingsworth's History Plays are satires combining comedy, tragedy, pathos and farce; a mix that is darkest in the plays about conquest and war. The Great War focuses on the mid-ranking officers and infantry-men who are named in no history book -- their stories link the front line with the home front, and intensify the tragedy in this play as far as satire can go. In VideoCabaret's magical staging-style, seven actors play more than 40 characters whose stories take the audience from the golf courses of Canada's political elite to munitions factories where widows work, to the front lines of Ypres, the Somme, Vimy Ridge and more. The Great War elicits horror and laughter with the graveyard humour of soldiers, the murderous foolishness of leaders, the absurdity of warfare. The play spans two 50-minute acts. The original '93 production of The Great War was presented at the Theatre Centre on the ground floor of a Legion Hall; the WWII veterans who saw the show embraced it as fully as teachers, students, neo-dadaists, history nerds and theatre lovers. It won Dora Mavor Moore Awards for OUTSTANDING NEW PLAY and COSTUMES, and five further Nominations including OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION. In May-June 2010, VideoCabaret created a new production of The Great War that played to sold-out crowds for 46 performances and united critics in praise.

VideoCabaret presents The Great War The History of the Village of the Small Huts: 1914-1918 Written and Directed by Michael Hollingsworth Starring Greg Campbell, Richard Alan Campbell, Richard Clarkin, Kerry Ann Doherty, Mac Fyfe, Anand Rajaram, Dylan Roberts Lighting Andy Moro, Set Andy Moro, Jim Plaxton, Music Brent Snyder Costumes Astrid Janson & Sarah Armstrong, Props Brad Harley, Wigs Alice Norton Sound Designer Justin Roddy, Stage Manager Andrew Dollar, Assistant Stage Manager Laurie Merredew Associate Director Deanne Taylor, Produced by Jim LeFrancois Previews from Tuesday October 26, Opens Wednesday November 3 for a Limited Run VideoCabaret at the Cameron House, 408 Queen Street West (one block west of Spadina) Tuesday to Saturday 8pm, Sunday 2:30pm Tickets: Previews & Tuesdays $15, Wednesdays $20, Thursdays & Sundays $25, Fridays & Saturdays $30 Box Office: 416-703-1725 For more Info:

The Great War Synopsis: The play begins in the spring of 1914 in Canada. Young men are reading Kipling, young women are reading suffragist pamphlets. Sir Robert Borden is Prime Minister, having defeated Wilfrid Laurier’s Liberals in the General Election of 1911. Laurier's caucus is divided as usual by Quebec nationalists Henri Bourassa and Armand Lavergne. PM-in-waiting Arthur Meighen keeps Borden's government tightly disciplined -- all but armchair warrior, Sam Hughes, Minister of Militia and Defense. At Rideau Hall, Queen Victoria’s son, Duke of Connaught, presides with his Prussian Duchess. The Duke is the uncle of England's King, Russia's Czar and Germany's Kaiser whose loyal empires are engaged in a family quarrel soon to be known as “the war to end all war”. With Quebec dissenting, the loyal colony of Canada sends a tenth of its population to defend the British Empire. The play follows Canadian officers and infantrymen through the battles of the Ypres Salient, Vimy Ridge, Passchendaele, the Somme and Amiens, as the war devours ten million lives. Through the action on the Western Front, the home front is glimpsed -- Canadian soldiers storm machine-guns as conscription-resisters are shot in the streets of Quebec City. Under British Command, the Canadian forces suffer 230,000 casualties, 58,000 killed. Canadians' pride and grief kindle a desire for an independent destiny. Seven actors play forty characters including Colonel Arthur Currie, Sam Hughes, General Haig, General Byng, Mlle Armentières, the British Army, German Army and the heretofore unknown soldiers, John and Dave. The Company: VideoCabaret’s stagecraft is influential with theatre artists, beloved by audiences, recognized by scores of awards and honours. They have premiered more than forty productions written and directed by Michael Hollingsworth and Deanne Taylor, including plays, operas, and multi-media cabarets. In 2000, VideoCab refurbished a cozy theatre space in the Cameron House where their longtime studio on the 2nd floor serves also as the costume-wig-prop-shop and dressing-room. VideoCab's all-inclusive venue enhances the mind-meld required among the many collaborators, affording five-week rehearsals with lights and sound to integrate hundreds of cues, scores of props, dozens of costumes.. The History of the Village of the Small Huts a.k.a. Canada’s History Plays: Michael Hollingsworth has written and directed twenty-one plays dramatising Canada's history from Chief Donnacona and Jacques Cartier to recent times -- stories that capture Canadian society high and low, in various eras, seized by various ideas and passions. In each play seven actors portray dozens of characters, the legends and losers who made this country what it is. Michael's wildly original scripts are matched by the ensemble's extraordinary staging technique and visual style. The History Plays premiered 1985-99, delighting audiences with spectacle and substance. VideoCabaret is now re-inventing the Repertoire, and winning new audiences and honours. THE HISTORY OF THE VILLAGE OF THE SMALL HUTS New France, Parts I-IV • The British, Parts I-IV • Mackenzie/Papineau Rebellion Confederation • Red River Rebellion • Canadian Pacific Scandal • Saskatchewan Rebellion • Laurier

The Great War The Life & Times of Mackenzie King • WWII • The Cold War Trudeau & The FLQ • Trudeau & The PQ • The Life & Times of Brian Mulroney -30Media Refer: Dianne Weinrib, Brendan Ross - DW Communications 416.703.5479

The Great War Press  

Press coverage for VideoCabaret's production of The Great War

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