Western Canada’s largest Shakespeare Festival, now in its 23rd season, presents four rotating shows this season; Macbeth, Taming Of The Shrew, Merry Wives Of Windsor and King John. Ashamedly, I’ve never attended Bard On The Beach before, so I remedied that recently with a performance of Macbeth.
Although the ground was wet and soggy from a deluge of afternoon rain, amongst the tented stages in the ‘Bard Village’ it was quite comfortable, a gift shop, two efficient concessions and ample washroom facilities make the pre-show/intermissions go by quickly. Seated in the Main Stage seats you’d be forgiven for forgetting you were in a temporary theatre, except for the open air behind the stage, there’s little evidence of the elements outside. However, the audience was reminded of the open air a couple moments when an air ambulance helicopter quickly passed overhead and then a party boat playing thumping beats drifted by on the water.
The classic tale of deceit, power and murder that is Macbeth was well interpreted, while sticking true to the original bloody and violent work. The great cast was powerfully lead by, Bard regular, Bob Frazer as Macbeth and Colleen Wheeler as Lady Macbeth. Both portrayed the anger, angst and anguish of the title characters with full force. While there was a couple of occasions that certain actors voices got a bit lost in the open air, the overall production was spot on.
Bard On The Beach Shakespeare Festival is located under the tents at Vanier Park on Kits Point. Parking is available at the nearby Museum of Vancouver/Science Centre, Boat Launch and gravel parking lot across the street. Regular evening tickets are just $40.