Enchanted April

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Press Release
April 1, 2014

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

Belleville: There is a special spring gift waiting for you at the Pinnacle Playhouse. It is an entertaining, romantic comedy, Enchanted April by Mathew Barber.

The story revolves around a spirited but unhappy woman, Lottie, and her co-conspirator, Rose, another rather sad figure. Both are enduring the darkness of soul that followed the end of WW1 in London, England. They seem to have become disillusioned with their husbands as well! Yes, there are secrets, longings, fears, and family squabbles, but not for long.

The play is based on the 1922 novel, The Enchanted April, by Elizabeth von Arnim. It tells the story of four dissimilar women who leave cold, rainy London behind, to go on a holiday to a secluded coastal castle in Italy. They read an advertisement for a small medieval Italian castle on the shores of the Mediterranean to be let furnished for the month of April. The women come together at the castle and among the wisteria, Mediterranean sunshine and an Italian cook; they are rejuvenated, rediscovering hope and love.

Elizabeth von Arnim led a charmed but troubled life. She was married to a German count, had an affair with writer H.G. Wells, among others, entertained George Bernard Shaw, and wrote at least 21 books. She also lived through the horrors of WW1 during which she lost friends and family, had two disastrous marriages, and felt like a nobody despite becoming an accomplished concert pianist, violinist, and organist by the age of 24. Elizabeth, who was born in 1866, was outspoken and independent. She wrote, “If your lot makes you cry and be wretched, get rid of it and take another. Don’t be afraid of public opinion in the shape of the neighbour in the next house. When all the world is before you, new and shining, and everything is possible, be energetic and seize opportunity by the scruff of the neck.”

Enchanted April had a run on Broadway and was a hit at the Shaw Festival in 2013. The characters are classic and timeless -the wife taken for granted; the husband who doesn’t understand; the gorgeous but troubled young socialite; the grand lady defending the old ways; the charming sophisticated gentleman; and the smarter-than-everyone-else housekeeper who erupts in wonderful bursts of Italian.

The Guild production is directed by Liz Marshall, a versatile and talented actor, producer, and director. The cast is made up of seasoned actors Heather Barker, Heather Muir, Timothy Fransky, Pat Gray, Vickie Williams, and Scott Roodvoets as well as relative newcomers Maija Thompson and Nathan Mahaffy.

Enchanted April is produced by Diane Burley, with Phil Bowerman as Stage Manager. Lighting design is by Jim Alexander and at least 30 other volunteers worked diligently to bring this show to life.

Liz Marshall also designed the set, a marvel of ingenuity, which captures the look and feel of the period. One of the challenges of a play set in the past is to create the look and feel of the period. Sean Scally and the set construction team built the set. Heather Muir and her team of set painters transformed rough wood into works of art.

Judy Bridle and Liz Gray were in charge of the props to find authentic pieces of decor. Yvon Menard and Linda Serres had the task of finding and making costumes. Yvon designed and created the many exquisite pieces for the ladies in the rare, fine, fabrics and styles of the early 20’s.

During this epic Canadian winter, you can light up your life by joining these travellers in their search for sunshine and happiness. Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and $10 for students and are available by calling 613-967-1442 or at bellevilletheatreguild.ca.

Don’t miss Enchanted April, April 3rd to 19th. Come and see how Lottie, Rose, their husbands and the other fascinating characters are enchanted and changed as April in Italy weaves its spell.

Tickets are $20.00 and we offer thirteen performances including two Sunday matinees. Contact us through or call the box office at 613-967-1442 to order your tickets on-line.

The Belleville Theatre Guild offers elevator service right in to the theatre, a barrier-free washroom and room in the front row for wheel chairs and other mobility devices. See you at the Pinnacle Playhouse!

Submitted by Debra Tosh

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