Renee Bucciarelli, Katharine Venour, John Innes, Julie McIsaac, Simon Webb, Jeff Gladstone, and Pippa Johnstone

Would you sacrifice your soul to save your brother’s life? Pacific Theatre is proud to present The Honest Fishmongers’ production of William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure. This is a classic yet surprisingly contemporary tale of scandal, abuse of power, and the balance of justice and grace that arise when Vienna’s Duke takes an unexplained leave of absence, leaving a power-hungry steward, Angelo, in his place.

With a set of ruthless morality laws still in the books, Angelo uses them to his advantage, ultimately forcing a young nun into a terrible ultimatum: her soul for her brother’s life.

Simon Webb, Julie McIsaac, John Innes John Innes, Simon Webb, Julie McIsaac
[L to R: Simon Webb, Julie McIsaac, John Innes; John Innes, Simon Webb, Julie McIsaac]

Measure for Measure is a play of its time, and yet it is utterly modern”, says director Kevin Bennett. “We may live in a more secular society than Jacobean London, or the Vienna setting of Measure for Measure, but we still struggle with people who have ‘puritanical-like’ views (such as Angelo), or who are perhaps too lenient (as the Duke).”

Bennett is a young force in Shakespearean theatre, already well-known in Vancouver for his revitalization of the Bard’s work through his large-cast, small-stage productions. He’s also recently returned from a directing apprenticeship at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival.

Joining Bennett on this production is a who’s who of Vancouver’s finest actors: John Innes (Heroes), Simon Webb (King Lear) Julie McIsaac (Hamlet), Peter Anderson (Waiting for Godot), Katharine Venour (Mother Teresa is Dead), Alison Kelly (Mom’s the Word), Michal Fera (Hamlet), Jeff Gladstone (The Life Game), Emmelia Gordon (Progressive Polygamists), and Pippa Johnstone (The Duchess).

Pacific Theatre Presents The Honest Fishmongers’ Measure for Measure
Venue: Pacific Theatre, 1440 West 12th Avenue, Vancouver
Dates: January 17 to February 8; Wednesday to Saturday, 8 pm; Saturday, 2 pm matinee
Tickets: From $19.99 to $29.99, excluding HST; available online or via phoning 604.731.5518
There will be an Artist Talkback on Friday, January 24. Don’t forget about Subscriber Appreciation Saturday on January 18.

About The Honest Fishmongers

The Honest Fishmongers aim to give audiences a unique experience of the plays that they stage, marrying traditions of the Elizabethan era with modern 21st-century innovation. The Honest Fishmongers’ mandate to produce large-scale Shakespeare in intimate spaces is the perfect fit for Pacific Theatre’s cozy alley theatre.

Photos by Emily Cooper.

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