Closing another stellar season, DalTheatre presents a take on love, lust and betrayal in Oscar Wilde’s Lady Windermere’s Fan.
“I’m doing a play that I love,” says director Marti Maraden, who is directing her first play for Dalhousie after more than three decades as one of the key figures at the famous Stratford Festival.
“I love Oscar Wilde. I’ve been in his plays and I’ve directed them before, but this is my first time with Lady Windermere’s Fan… I’ve got great designers, great staff, wonderful students and a wonderful play.”
In the play, Lady Windermere suspects her husband of having an affair. When Lord Windermere invites the “other woman” to his wife's birthday party, Lady Windermere flees into the arms of another man, kicking off a story of love and its many complications.
Costume designer John Pennoyer and set designer John C. Dinning ensure that Lady Windermere’s Fan is truly decadent, beautifully depicting the era in which it was written (1892). But all of this decadence would be idle without the actors who bring it to life.
“It’s different than anything else we’ve done in this season, and this one is a different take on anything,” says Michael Gaty, who plays Lord Darlington – the man to whom Lady Windermere (played by Ellen Denny) runs to when the affair is discovered.
“All of our plays revolve around love of some sort, or passion, and this one is much more reserved. But also deals with the same themes and it’s been very fun for us all to explore together.”
Jeremy Parkin, who plays Lord Windermere, advises theatregoers to pay particular attention to Wilde’s witty dialogue.
He says attendees should “tune into the characters and see them as who they are – real people who are existing in this world who feel love, who feel hate, who feel envy, anger, jealousy, all these things that make people human. They’re right there on stage for you. Be in that and love that.”
An excellent end to a great season, Lady Windermere’s Fan proves that DalTheatre continues to impress students, adults, and theatre patrons alike. The play runs from March 27 until March 31 in the Sir James Dunn Theatre in the Dal Arts Centre. Tickets are limited, but still available through the Arts Centre box office.
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