Heroes cast

The FOG Theatre presents the Vancouver premiere of Tom Stoppard’s Heroes coming to Coal Harbour’s PAL Studio Theatre from September 6 to 30. Directed by Terence Kelly, the smart and saucy work is a tour-de-force for senior theatre artists John Innes, William Samples, and Michael Dobbin as a trio of hilarious, cantankerous WWI veterans who quietly reflect on their long lives and boisterously plot their grand escape from a military retirement home.

“John, William, and Michael are all are residents at the Performing Arts Lodge (PAL), and had been looking for a project to work on together for ages,” according to Heroes director Terence Kelly. “When we came across this particular script, we knew we had found it. It is smart, funny, poignant, and full of rich roles that can only be approached by actors who possess a lifetime of experience.”

The play is a translation of Gerald Sibleyras’ Le Vent des Peupliers (The Wind in the Poplars). Set in a soldiers retirement home in 1959 France, its cast consists of three WWI veterans, each of whom carry a heavy burden from the war: Gustave suffers from crippling agoraphobia; Henri possesses a gammy leg; and Philippe is prone to blacking out due to shrapnel lodged in his brain. The play follows these three as they plot to escape their retirement home.

The trio’s doldrum-filled retirement is ignited when they hatch a grand, if somewhat harebrained, escape scheme. Over the course of the non-stop 80-minute play that is variously uproarious, pensive, and tender, the geriatric threesome work to outwit the staff, overcome logistical roadblocks, and make a run for Indochina – or at least as far as the top of a nearby hill.

Academy award-winning and critically acclaimed writer Tom Stoppard (Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead, Shakespeare in Love) worked closely with Sibleyras in 2005 to translate the work into English. Following its debut in London’s West End, his adaptation received the prestigious Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy.

The FOG’s production will offer Vancouver audiences a unique opportunity to see three masters of their craft working together on a single stage.


Dates: September 6 to 30; Tuesday to Saturday, 8 pm; Sunday 2 pm matinée
Venue: PAL Studio Theatre, 581 Cardero Street, Vancouver
Tickets: From $25; Tuesday nights “Pay-what-you-can”; purchase online or via phoning 1.800.838.3006

The FOG Theatre is an equity coop whose membership consists of Terence Kelly, John Innes, William Samples, and Michael Dobbin. The combined ensemble represents an astounding wealth of experience and several lifetimes of dedication to theatrical craft.

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