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Gypsy, Devil’s Disciple, Holmes highlight 2020 Shaw season

Gypsy, The Devil’s Disciple and Prince Caspian are just some of the productions on the Shaw Festival’s playbill in 2020.

The new season will start on April 1, 2020, and will wrap up on Dec. 23, 2020.

“This is a season of classics across the board: classic musicals, classic comedies, classic dramas,” artistic director Tim Carroll said in a news release. “Every single one features the brilliant writing which has always been at the centre of our mission, and for which we have assembled one of the world’s great acting ensembles.”

Four plays will be staged at the Festival Theatre next season.

Gypsy, written by Arthur Laurents, is based on memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, a burlesque entertainer and a striptease artist. The play, directed and choreographed by Kimberley Rampersad, explores the “human cost of blind ambition.”

Another play, The Devil’s Disciple by Bernard Shaw, is an “action-filled comedy” directed by Eda Holmes.

Sherlock Holmes and his friend Dr. Watson will also be making a comeback on the Festival Theatre stage next season. The play, Sherlock Holmes and the Raven’s Curse, is directed by Craig Hall and follows Holmes’s investigation of his uncle’s mysterious death.

Another show, Mahabharata, will be presented in collaboration with Toronto’s Why Not Theatre. The play is one of 200 projects that were funded through the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter initiative. Directed by Ravi Jain, Mahabharata is “a visually stunning spectacle” of a more than 4,000-year-old Sanskrit epic.

The Royal George Theatre will host a number of plays as well.

Charley’s Aunt, a farce by Brandon Thomas, and Flush, a lunchtime one-act based on a novella by Virginia Woolf, are both directed by Carroll.

Prince Caspian, based on the Chronicles of Narnia novel by C.S. Lewis, has been adapted for the stage by Damien Atkins with Molly Atkinson directing.

Meg Roe will direct Assassins, a “darkly comic” musical about the nine men and women who have attempted to kill an American president.

Former artistic director Jackie Maxwell returns to direct The Playboy of the Western World, an Irish comedy presented at the eponymous Jackie Maxwell Studio Theatre.

Philip Akin will direct Trouble in Mind, “a painfully funny and truthful” piece about race, privilege and power, while Selma Dimitrijevic will direct Desire Under the Elms, a “poetic tale of forbidden love.”

In association with Parks Canada, the Shaw will present The History of Niagara, a 30-minute puppet play created and performed by Mike Petersen and Alexandra Montagnese under the direction of Carroll. The show will be presented at the Fort George National Historic Site.

During holiday season, A Christmas Carol, also directed by Carroll, will return to the Royal George Theatre for its fourth year.

As part of the holiday season, Me and My Girl will be back on the Festival Theatre stage with Ashlie Corcoran directing.

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