The reviews are in! Bard on the Beach’s summer Shakespeare productions on now

A scene from Bard on the Beach’s 2017 production of Much Ado About Nothing.

The reviews are in for this year’s Bard on the Beach, and they are much ado about something.

In a local publication, theatre reviewer Kathleen Oliver describes The Winter’s Tale as “exquisite.” And critic Jerry Wasserman enthused over Much Ado About Nothing, this summer’s other Bard production. Writing in the Vancouver Sun, Wasserman singled out Amber Lewis as Beatrice and Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg’s “witty choreography.” Both are performed at Vanier Park on alternating days until September.

For Much Ado About Nothing, director John Murphy has transposed the 1598 comedy to a 1950s’ Italian film studio. The set emulates a film set with giant doors, old cameras and boom mikes. “The actors swan around in Christine Reimer’s elegant cocktail dresses, tuxes and sharkskin suits, cigarettes dangling from lips,” writes Wasserman.

More Much Ado.

Oliver goes on to say re: The Winter’s Tale: “Lois Anderson’s Paulina is by turns chiding, outraged, tender, but always in command, and the strength of her performance is matched by the other leads. Kevin MacDonald makes every station on Leontes’s enormous emotional journey crystal-clear, and Sereana Malani’s steadfast and quietly poised Hermione is deeply moving. In Bohemia, Ben Elliott is deliciously unhinged as Autolycus, using his considerable physical and musical resources to reinvent the character in every moment.”

She goes on to single out Pam Johnson’s “minimalist” set, Gerald King’s “sumptuous, colour-saturated” lighting, Malcolm Dow’s music, Tracey Power’s choreography, and Carmen Alatorre’s costumes.

The productions mark Bard on the Beach’s 28th season. The final performances of both are Sept. 22 (The Winter’s Tale) & 23 (Much Ado) at the Mainstage in Vanier Park.

The Winter’s Tale.

Along with the two main plays, the Howard Family Stage in the Douglas Campbell Theatre Tent hosts repertory productions of The Merchant of Venice and The Two Gentlemen of Verona.

For more info and tickets, visit

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