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Saturday, December 2, 2023
Arts: ‘My Fair Lady’ highlights Shaw playbill for 2024
Shaw's artistic director Tim Carroll. DAVID COOPER

The Shaw Festival has revealed its lineup for the 2024 season, and topping its bill of works is the return of the timeless musical “My Fair Lady,” alongside plays inspired by the stories of Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle, among several other productions.

This upcoming season, the 62nd in the festival’s history, is set to kick off on April 6 and run until Dec. 22.

“Last season, we brought you an astonishing range of live performances in all our theatres – from new works, hidden gems and reimagined classics,” said the Shaw’s artistic director Tim Carroll in a media release.

This year, the Shaw will host a production of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe’s “My Fair Lady,” “one of the few perfect musicals,” Carroll said.

“My Fair Lady,” the tale of Cockney girl Eliza Doolittle’s transformation into a woman of Edwardian London society, will make its return to the Shaw stage on May 4. It will run at the Festival Theatre until the season’s close on Dec. 22.

This particular adaption of “My Fair Lady” borrows from both the original George Bernard Shaw stage play of 1913 and Gabriel Pascal’s 1938 film “Pygmalion.” Carroll is set to co-direct the show with Kimberley Rampersad.

Also set to hit the stage at the Festival Theatre are “One Man, Two Guvnors,” “the funniest show on the planet,” said Carroll, and “Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of the Human Heart,” based on characters by Arthur Conan Doyle.

“One Man, Two Guvnors,” will preview on June 6 and close on Oct. 13, while “Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of the Human Heart” will preview July 24 and also close on Oct. 13.

The former play, a comedy in the style of 16th to 18th century Italian stage comedies, is the story of an out-of-work former musician in 1960s Brighton who works for two different bosses – and does everything he can to keep the two from meeting.

The latter play, which marks the third time the master of deduction has appeared on the Shaw’s stage, sees Holmes meeting his match in a compelling and lethal villain, in a new work by Reginald Candy.

Over at the Royal George Theatre on Queen Street, “Witness for the Prosecution” will debut on April 6. It is an adaptation of Agatha Christie’s short story “Traitor’s Hands” directed by Alistair Newton.

Other works Shaw Festival attendees can check out starting in the spring and summer of 2024 are “The Secret Garden,” previewing May 31, Bernard Shaw’s “Candida,” previewing July 13 Michael Man’s adaptation of “The Orphan of Chao,” a lunchtime one-act production, previewing June 13. All of these works will be presented at the Royal George Theatre.

Two Canadian works premiering at the Jackie Maxwell Studio Theatre are Marcus Gardley’s “The House That Will Not Stand,” on June 12, and Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s “Snow in Midsummer,” on Aug. 8.

For more information about the Shaw Festival, visit shawfest.com.

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