Volume 92, Issue 6

Friday, September 11, 1998

oshfrosh b'gosh


Presenting theatre at its best - exit stage London

By Brad Lister
Gazette Staff

It's Saturday night, you've seen all the movies at the local movieplex and just don't know what other options are available which will agree with your budget. Instead of staring at the cracks in your wall, take in the emotional electricity of live theatre. London has a number of great venues offering wonderful live theatre and classical music – many of which won't break your budget.

On campus, Theatre Western is responsible for the organization of various theatrical events. Susan McKone, community advisor to the Theatre Western Committee, says plans are underway for this year's production of "Damn Yankees," put on by the theatre group Purple Patches. Patches puts on a major musical every year, last year's being "Little Shop of Horrors."

Also on campus one can find a number of concerts and productions presented by the faculty of music. Nikki Attwell, public affairs coordinator with the faculty says many classically oriented concerts are offered. "We have some wonderful high calibre plays, world-renowned concerts for artists, both faculty and guest artists."

Two major upcoming concerts are on Sept. 25 with a group called Sax o Duo and Sept. 30, when Aeolian Winds will be performing in the recital hall. If you are interested in opera, keep an eye out in March for a presentation of Strauss' "Diefleder Maus." Attwell adds that most productions are free and those with an admission fee are limited normally to only five dollars.

Looking to the affiliate colleges, both King's and Huron College have student-run groups which perform great evenings of theatre. Producer Tiffany Koch of the Huron Underground Dramatic Society says there are typically two productions every year, one in the spring and fall, with student-written materials encouraged. The first production of this year will be two one-act plays, while the production in the spring will be a full-scale presentation.

Patrick Teskey of the King's Players says the production for November will be "The Breakfast Club." Student creativity is also encouraged for the second production which is a series of monologues and dramatic pieces that are completely open to anyone. Both also keep in mind the affordibility factor, as most of their productions don't normally cost much more than four to seven dollars to attend.

For off campus dwellers, two major venues stand in the London spotlight. The Grand Theatre has been an institution in the city for many years. The season begins on Sept. 18 with the opening of "Cabaret." A number of great plays fill out the roster including, "I Love You You're Perfect Now Change", "An Ideal Husband" and "Homeward Bound."

"It's the place where the audience and the actors on stage make a connection," says Rob Wellan, public relations manager at the Grand. To help ease the student pocketbook a little, the Grand features a pay-what-you-can Saturday matinee.

If you have some time on your hands and want to get involved, then The London Community Players are where it's at, operating out of the Palace Theatre on Dundas St.. The play entitled "Harvey" opens LCP's season on Sept. 18, while classics from past seasons such as "Ten Little Indians" by Agatha Christie and the thriller "Wait Until Dark" help round out the diverse roster.

London has many great venues offering thoughtful and often laughter-provoking live theatre. With so much selection of price, location and subject matter, it's almost too hard to decide which seat to sit in.

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department: gazette.entertainment@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998