Goodnight Desdemona brings laughs to Conron Hall

Professionally choreographed fight scenes tie show together

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

The cast of Goodnight Desdemona, Good morning Juliet

Courtesy of Katherine Hoad-Reddick

BILLY S. WOULD BE PROUD. The cast of Goodnight Desdemona, Good Morning Juliet performs a combination of Shakespeare’s Othello and Romeo and Juliet from April 2 to 4.

With school coming to an end and the stress of exams and papers starting to build up, everyone is in need of a break.

The perfect cure is Anne-Marie MacDonald’s Goodnight Desdemona, Good Morning Juliet, an amusing play about a Queen’s University professor who tries to prove that two of Shakespeare’s classics, Othello and Romeo and Juliet, were originally comedies.

Director Katherine Hoad-Reddick and leading lady Shannon Charnock both admire this popular Canadian production, expressing the play’s great originality and humour.

“It’s a really great, funny show. MacDonald’s brilliance retains what makes Shakespeare so great,” Charnock says.

Goodnight Desdemona, Good Morning Juliet incorporates lines from many of Shakespeare’s productions. The play warps into the settings from Othello and Romeo and Juliet and includes storylines of the heroine from each play, Desdemona and Juliet. Constance Ledbelly (Charnock), the inquisitive professor, learns more about herself through these heroines, which presents a pro-feminist play with women as the driving force.

One of Hoad-Reddick’s favourite experiences while working on the production was the development of the choreography for the fighting scenes. Reed Needles, a teacher at Sir Frederick Banting Secondary School who has a lot of experience in fight choreography, was brought in specially to help put together exciting and thrilling scenes.

With assistance from Needles’ daughter Rachael, phenomenal fight choreography was put together, along with workshops on how to develop characters.

“This crisp professional choreography by Needles ties the play together,” Hoad-Reddick says.

With most of the actors having been stars in the English department’s fall production of Hamlet, it was easier to put together this production because of their previously existing chemistry.

This student-run comical show is perfect for those in need of an entertaining study break.

Goodnight Desdemona, Good Morning Juliet¸ supported by the Arts and Humanities Student Donation Fund, will be performed April 2 to 4 nightly at 8 p.m., with a matinee at 2 p.m. on closing day. Tickets are available at the University Community Centre today and tomorrow, or at the door. Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for general admission.

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