Tuesday, July 24, 2007

RJDeverell Productions. Wild Magic
News from the Winnipeg Fringe!

Wild Magic opened Wednesday to a full house. The second and third show were sold out! The cast is wonderful. The photo shows Stefanie Wiens, Nancy Drake, and Rita Deverell (left to right). We received a 5 bar (star) review from Dean Jenkinson on the CBC and a 4 1/2 star review from Wendy Burke at the Winnipeg Free Press.
Playing in: Venue #7 The Conservatory of Music- 211 Bannatyne, Winnipeg

CBC Review:
It turns out William Shakespeare was a bit of an historical revisionist. So say the three witches who 1000 years ago told Macbeth he’d be king. They’ve since retired to cottage country, and as they reminisce on their role in the whole affair, old resentments and new regrets surface. I worried I’d find a self-indulgent and inaccessible show, but this is an absolutely terrific production. More than Shakespearean in-jokes, this is a very thoughtful meditation on guilt, atonement, and the indelibility of mistakes. How do you walk humbly in the world, and still do justice? How do you cope with unintended consequences? How do you avoid the infectiousness of bitterness and cynicism? Author and director Rex Deverell is interested in these things and more, and balances it all with a wonderfully sly sense of humor that earned belly laughs. That his script is in the hands of three tremendous actresses is icing on the cake. CBC Rating: Five Bars Reviewed by: Dean Jenkinson
Winnipeg Free Press Review:
WILD MAGIC RJ Deverell Productions The Conservatory (Venue 7), to July 28
The three witches from MacBeth have retreated to a quiet lakeside dock. They're sitting around tired, lethargic even, from the weight of the world's history. But something is rolling around in the back of their minds.
It's a Shakespearean witch-bitch. There's a funny side -- and an angry side -- just like in regular bitching.
Sephanie Wiens plays the slightly off-kilter Lydia, who seems to be not fully tethered to her Adirondack chair. Plagued by visions of doom, and regret, she interferes with the thoughts of Verleen (Rita Shelton Deverell) and Cleo (Nancy Drake,) who are just trying to look at the lake and forget about Macbeth and the whole Scottish thing. Soon the three are reminiscing and complaining about Shakespeare (whom they refer to as the "BIRD of Avon"). They try to make sense of their role in Macbeth's rise to power and connect the dots of men, their warfare, and their history. Do things ever change? Did they really have any influence? Can they ever?
Wiens brings her left-of-centre energy to the stage and is beautifully balanced with solid performances by both Deverell and Drake, veteran actors who can move with ease from sharp humour to deep sorrow in these well-crafted roles from playwright Rex Deverell. Who says there are no good parts for older women?
-- Wendy Burke
Winnipeg Free Press rating: 4 1/2 stars

Reviews from audience members on the CBC site
Wild Magic makes you think while being entertained. The three witches of the Scottish play meddle in history that has reverberations right to the Twin Towers. Three wonderful actresses are well cast as the witches and magic goes astray. The best play I've seen this Fringe. Yeah, Rita Deverell, Yeah, Nancy Drake, Yeah, Stefanie Wiens. Great Fringe 2007 20 years and counting!
Posted by: Jayne Whyte July 21, 2007 03:29 PM

Great performances by a strong cast with locals Nancy Drake and Stephanie Weins complementing Rita Shelton Deverell. A thoughtful examination of the three witches from MacBeth, the meaning of life, whether you can retire gracefully, and a whole lot more. Opening night nearly sold out, so advance tickets might be the best bet.
Posted by: Kevin Longfield July 19, 2007 11:42 AM

I saw Wild Magic last night and I wanted to say what incredibly strong actors these three ladies are - powerful, captivating, and humorous! It would be hard for me to see any others perform this play - they were perfect for their roles! The plot of the play drew me in, and the ladies made me want to stay. It's a wonderful play and they could not have found any better actors for the parts.
Oh, for those of you who haven't read the review – the play is about Shakespeare’s Macbeth as seen from the witches’ point of view. Don't you want to go see it now?
Posted by: D. Woodfine July 19, 2007 11:29 AM

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