She Stoops To Conquer

Press Release
March 4, 2011

The Belleville Theatre Guild - 256 Pinnacle Street, Belleville
(613) 967-1442

Cast members, She Stoops To Conquer, Rachel Kelleher and Mike Leeming share a moment

Cast members, She Stoops To Conquer, Left to Right: Rachel Kelleher, Mike Leeming, Katie Chamilliard, Logan Steer, Ben Jensen-Reid

Fast-Paced and Funny at the Pinnacle Playhouse

Belleville: The Belleville Theatre Guild has been delighting audiences for 59 years. For our 4th production this season, we are proud to present a comedy which has been entertaining audiences for over 200 years.

She Stoops to Conquer by Irish playwright Oliver Goldsmith provides a raucous tale of mistaken identities, spirited hijinks, and a good dose of light-hearted romance. This play is a combination of a comedy of manners and a comedy of errors, with more than a few elements of farce. It was first performed in 1773, the same year as the Boston Tea Party, and it proved to be both an instant and an enduring success.

A comedy of manners is a play set in polite society with the humour arising out of the gap between the characters’ attempts to project standards of polite behaviour and their true nature. A comedy of errors typically involves cases of mistaken identity and plot twists designed to confuse and confound the characters. She Stoops to Conquer amply demonstrates both types of comedy, which is probably the reason why it is one of the most popular plays in the English-speaking world.

The production team is led by the director, Dave Henderson, in his first full-length production at the Guild. Dave is thrilled that such a talented cast and crew has come together to produce this classic. Phil Bowerman is the producer, while the stage manager is Judy Bridle. Neil Judge’s team has constructed Perry Poupore’s vision of an old English country house “that looks for all the world like an inn”, and costumes mistress Linda Serres has done an incredible job dressing this cast of fourteen.

A romantic night is in store for young Kate Hardcastle who is to meet the man her father has determined she will marry. The erstwhile bridegroom, Marlow, is a man of singular character—shy and awkward around respectable ladies, but quite forward with barmaids and lower class girls. Mistaken identities and spirited hijinks ensue when Marlow and his friend, Hastings, believe they are lost. They have stopped to ask for directions and are told that the Hardcastles’ country home is an inn. Marlow mistakes his future father-in-law for the inn keeper and his soon-to-be-bride for a serving wench. When Kate realizes that her tongue-tied and nervous suitor needs a lesson in the art of love, she quickly transforms herself into the type of woman who can teach it.
The cast is a blend of both fresh and familiar faces. Moira Forrester plays the egregious Mrs. Hardcastle always putting on airs, sucking up to her social superiors, and having joint temper tantrums with her “pretty, provoking, undutiful” son, played by Ben Jensen-Reid. Colin Leonard, a newcomer to Belleville, plays the long-suffering Mr. Hardcastle offended by the invasion of his home by two upstarts from London.

The role of Kate Hardcastle, portrayed by some of the greatest actresses of the English theatre, is being played by Rachel Kelleher who recently demonstrated her dramatic flair in A Child’s Christmas in Wales. The very talented and versatile Mike Leeming has taken on the role of Kate’s erstwhile suitor, Marlow, while Katie Chamilliard and Logan Steer, both Quinte Secondary students, skilfully play the other young couple seemingly doomed by circumstances.

Backing up the main characters are Bill Dauphinee as Sir Charles Marlow, and Tom Hartke, Jim Love, Tyler Peddle, Debbie Baker, Richard Lummiss, and Wes Weese who play servants and/or local characters of dubious repute.

Audience members have been enjoying our 50/50 draws held each at performance. And our Sunday matinees have proved to be a huge success.

The Pinnacle Playhouse offers elevator service into the theatre, a barrier-free washroom and space in the front row for wheelchairs and other mobility devices.

Please join us and enjoy an evening of theatre magic! The show promises to be a joy to watch—fast-paced and funny with colourful costumes and a gorgeous set. Don’t miss She Stoops to Conquer, a classic comedy of errors running from March 31 to April 16. Tickets are just $18.00. We offer two Sunday matinees. Tickets can be purchased online at www.bellevilletheatreguild.ca/Tickets.htm or by calling the box office at 613-967-1442.

Submitted by
Debra Tosh
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