Canadian theatre got a real boost when British actor and director John Neville came here to helm a play in Ottawa.
Ari A. Cohen 's documentary The World's A Stage looks at the life and career of the respected Neville, who, ironically, is probably better known to audiences for his work in TV shows like The X Files than for his stage work.
But that stage work is impressive, as we see in the photos and performance snippets during the hour-long doc. Wish there were more examples of his work, but the commendations of Judi Dench , Ralph Fiennes , Martha Henry , Brent Carver and others give us a brief insight into Neville's work as a director, actor and teacher.
He has his own style offstage, too, demonstrated in contemporary interview and newsreel clips spanning several decades. He can command simply with his voice, which he demonstrates by launching into the prologue from Shakespeare's Henry V at one point during a discussion.
Neville mined theatrical gold as head of Edmonton's Citadel Theatre, Halifax's Neptune Theatre and the Stratford Festival , but some of the most fascinating parts of the doc include a look at 40s and 50s rep theatre in England, his friendship with Richard Burton and the problems he faced in creating the role of Alfie onstage.
Details are sometimes sketchy, but Neville's passion as a theatre artist and the influence he's had on several generations of actors take centre stage.
The World's A Stage airs tonight (Thursday, November 15), 8:30 pm, on Bravo.
If you know the Bard's Richard III, you'll want to check out The True Tragedy Of Richard The Third , an anonymous 1580s play by the Queen's Men that inspired Shakespeare's later version.
The production by the U of T's Poculi Ludique Societas and the Graduate Centre for Study of Drama follows up on last year's project Shakespeare And The Queen's Men, which offered a trio of plays performed by the popular troup that may have trained the young Shakespeare. He adapted their texts for King Lear and Henry V.
Unlike last year's productions, Richard The Third uses female as well as male actors (there were no women onstage in Shakespeare's time), though in other regards the company relies on rehearsal and performance techniques used by the Queen's Men.
Actors Peter Higginson and Jason Gray return from last year's productions, and with other talents such as Byron Rouse and Chris Coculuzzi in the cast, the show should be a good one.