Bob Frazer in Equivocation at Bard on the Beach

Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival continues its 25th anniversary celebration season with the Shakespearean-themed drama Equivocation by American playwright and Jesuit priest Bill Cain. Palace intrigue and backstage humour share the spotlight in a fascinating ode to art, politics, and the dangers of negotiating both.

It’s England, 1606, and a terrorist plot to assassinate King James I (and blow Parliament to kingdom come with 36 barrels of gunpowder) has been uncovered. Shagspeare (Bob Frazer) is commissioned by Robert Cecil, the King’s Prime Minister, to write the “true historie” of the plot. “And it must have witches! The King wants witches!”, Cecil demands.

But as Shag and the acting company of the Globe (Anousha Alamian, Anton Lipovetsky, Shawn Macdonald), under the direction of the great Richard Burbage (Gerry Mackay), investigate the plot, they discover that the King’s version of the story might actually be a cover-up.

Shagspeare and his actors are confronted with the ultimate moral and artistic dilemma: speak truth to power and perhaps lose their heads? Or take the money, write propaganda, and lose their souls? Could equivocation pose a third option?

A high-stakes political thriller with contemporary resonance, Equivocation gallops from the great Globe to the Tower of London and the halls of Parliament to Judith (Rachel Cairns), Shagspeare’s younger daughter, who finds herself unexpectedly at the very heart of the political and ultimately human mystery.

Presented earlier this spring at the Belfry Theatre in Victoria, Equivocation marks Bard on the Beach’s first co-production. Performances will take place in the intimate 240-seat Douglas Campbell Theatre tent (on the Howard Family Stage) from July 2 to September 19.
Michael Shamata will direct Equivocation, along with a creative team including Scenery Designer Kevin McAllister, Costume Designer Nancy Bryant, Lighting Designer Alan Brodie, Composer and Sound Designer Tobin Stokes, and Fight Director Nicholas Harrison.

Production Stage Manager Joanne P.B. Smith is assisted by Samara Van Nostrand (Assistant Stage Manager) and Jennifer Stewart (Apprentice Stage Manager). Apprentice Director for Equivocation is Katrina Darychuk.


Previews: July 2, 3, 6, 9; opens July 10
Dates: Tuesdays through Sundays from July 2 to September 19
Venue: Bard on the Beach Village, Vanier Park, Vancouver
Tickets: $47 (evenings); $33 to $35 (previews, matinees, and long weekend evenings); $27 Global BC Youth Rate (6-25 years, all play performances); includes all fees and taxes
Early booking is recommended for best seat selection (all seats are reserved); tickets available online or via phoning 604.739.0559 (toll free 1.877.739.0559)

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