Your Guide to Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival 2014

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Scene From A Midsummer Night's Dream. Titania and Bottom. By Edwin Landseer, 1848. Photo Credit: Wikipedia.

Scene From A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Titania and Bottom. By Edwin Landseer, 1848. Photo Credit: Wikipedia.

A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.” William Shakespeare

Ah, how true the words of Shakespeare. Enjoy more of this 16th century playwright, poet, and actor’s work at Kitsilano’s Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival set in Vanier Park.  The season runs from June 11 to September 20 this year and plays include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, Equivocation, and Cymbeline. Times vary from afternoons to evenings for most days. Tickets start at about $35/person per play. Here’s a guide to the plays and events which will take place under the tents at Vanier Park:

Your Guide to Bard on the Beach 2014

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
“Shakespeare’s beloved comedy returns to Bard! Oberon, King of the Fairies, is upset with Queen Titania. He commands his servant Puck to produce a magical nectar that will cause love at first sight. The mischievous sprite arranges for Queen Titania to fall for Bottom, a simple weaver (now transformed into an ass) while hilariously misdirecting the affections of four runaway lovers.”

The Tempest
“Prospero, a magician and exiled Duke, is stranded on an enchanted island with his daughter Miranda, the spirit Ariel, and the slave Caliban. He conjures up a storm that shipwrecks his enemies on the island’s shores. As Prospero and Ariel weave a magical web, murder plots are hatched, unlikely alliances form and romance blooms between Miranda and the son of Prospero’s deepest enemy.”

Equivocation
“Palace intrigue and backstage humour share the spotlight in this entertaining ode to art, politics and the dangers of negotiating both! King James’ Prime Minister has charged Shag (William Shakespeare) with writing the “true history” of Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot. The playwright struggles to figure out where fiction stops and the facts may lead – without losing his head in the process!”

Cymbeline
“All is not as it appears after Imogen defies her father, King Cymbeline, to secretly marry Posthumus. The enthralling story that follows is driven by love, jealousy, betrayal and redemption and features a host of memorable characters, including one of Shakespeare’s most finely-etched female leads.”

Special Events To celebrate the Bard’s 25th anniversary this year, there are quite a lot of special events lined-up, from beer to brawls, comedy to choirs, opera to orchestras, and talks to tastings. Don’t miss the annual Bard B-Q and Fireworks show that includes a play followed by a delicious salmon barbecue, scrumptious desserts, and a sword fighting demonstration. Then, enjoy a private view of the Celebration of Light fireworks. Dates for this special event are July 26 & 30, and August 2, starting 4:30 pm. Price per person is $99 (includes play ticket & dinner).

Last modified: June 16, 2014

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