Bygone Theatre’s 2017/18 Season

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 26, 2017

Bygone Theatre Announces its 6th Season

TORONTO, ON (Tuesday September 26, 2017) – Now entering their sixth season, Toronto based, indie nonprofit, Bygone Theatre announces their season lineup, which includes a classic 1965 British farce, a unique night of vintage Vaudeville, and the World Premiere of a new Canadian play.

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LOOT by Joe Orton
Directed by Emily Dix

England, 1965; Only hours before her intended burial, the late Mrs. Leavy is removed from her coffin by her son, Hal, and his best pal, Dennis, who have together just robbed a bank and need the coffin to stash the loot. Absurdity abounds in the dark, 1965 farce that examines attitudes surrounding death, police integrity, and the Catholic church.

This timely classic will run from March 8-17th (11 performances) at the Alumnae Theatre, 70 Berkeley St., Toronto. Casting TBA late 2017.

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JOE by Rachel Ganz

England, 1967; Joe and Kenneth live together. Following their experience in jail for a crime they believe was just an excuse to criminalize their homosexuality, Joe and Kenneth begin planning for their future. Kenneth believes they should break up to avoid further persecution but Joe believes they should die together as a desperate statement against policy. As Kenneth attempts to leave, Joe attempts to die. The domestic dispute exemplifies the ways in which public policy can affect private living and the small flat the men share fills with tension until Kenneth kills Joe with a hammer. Inspired by the real-life murder of playwright, Joe Orton.

ABOUT RACHEL GANZ: Rachel Ganz is a Toronto-based playwright. She is a recent playwriting graduate from The National Theatre School as well as the Artistic Director of Newborn Theatre and the Co-Creator of The Odds and Ends Festival. Works include: Blip/I Didn’t Need To Know You (Newborn Theatre, 2017), Plucked (Newborn Theatre, 2016), Vacuum (The National Theatre School, 2016), The Dumb War (Newborn Theatre, 2015), Teach Me (Newborn Theatre, 2014), Rhyme Reason or Otherwise (Hart House Players, 2014), Plasterface (Newborn Theatre, 2014), The Long Run (Sunnybrook Hospital/Newborn Theatre, 2014).

Staged Reading – April 8, 2018, the Social Capital Theatre, 154 Danforth Ave., Toronto

World Premiere – June 21-23, 2018 (limited engagement, 5 performances), the Alumnae Theatre Studio, 70 Berkeley St., Toronto

VAUDEVILLE REVUE – in partnership with the Revue Cinema

A one-night-only performance of vintage Vaudeville acts combined with classic silent films. Exact date TBA.

Visit http://www.bygonetheatre.com for details and updates on casting.
Tickets: available at http://www.bygonetheatre.com/tickets
Media Contact: Artistic Executive Director Emily Dix, Emily@bygonetheatre.com, 647-343-5965

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Crew Spotlight: Emily Dix

25.pngEmily Dix is the Artistic Executive Director of Bygone Theatre, and is directing, stage managing, designing and producing His Girl Friday. Emily has produced all of Bygone’s shows and directed 5 of the 6, with this now being her 7th.

Bio: Emily Dix is a Toronto based theatre artist, a “jack of all trades” who has worked as a director, producer, stage manager, set & costume designer and performer. In 2008 she moved to the city to attend UofT and quickly became involved with companies on campus, like Victoria College Drama, the UC Follies, St. Mike’s Drama and Hart House Theatre. In 2012, she founded Bygone Theatre, a company which she still runs today as the Artistic Executive Director. Emily has worked as a producer for Theatre 20 and as the assistant producer at Tarragon Theatre, as well as a production assistant for Poculi Ludique Societas, the PR Manager for the Social Capital Theatre, and numerous other freelance positions. In addition to her work in theatre, Emily is a vintage lover and avid collector. She owns an Etsy shop, Tucked Away Antiques, that specializes in small vintage items and digital downloads. Emily has also dabbled in design, making web sites and posters for local artists. For past credits and more information, visit her website, www.emilydix.com.

What made you want to mount His Girl Friday?

While not a conscious decision, I realized that all of the shows Bygone had mounted so far were either dramas, or at the very least rather dark comedies. I never intended for us to stick to style like that so when I was planning our 2016/17 season I knew I wanted a comedy. I had a list of several that had caught my eye, but one day I stumbled across a list of films that were currently in the public domain, and couldn’t believe His Girl Friday was one of them! I was going to write the adaptation myself, but my uncle, Craig Dix, had recently sent me a radio of script of his he’d done, so I asked him if he’d like to do it, and the answer was an enthusiastic “yes”. It’s a great story, with a large and diverse cast, strong female lead AND in the public domain – how could I not want to put it on?

What do you love about the show?

It really is very funny. I love the fast-paced dialogue and the opportunity for cheesy, over-the-top humour. While there are certainly complications with having such a large cast, I did want to be able to include a lot of people, so the size of it appeals to me as well. Plus, I love stories that include a great romance, without it being the central part of the story. It keeps things endearing but not sappy, and makes for a plot everyone can enjoy.

Which role – director, producer, designer, stage manger – have you found most challenging? Why?

I think with this one, I’d have to say director, simply because of the size of the cast. While I did the first round of auditions very early December, it took a very long time to get everything cast; I’m glad I held out for the right actors, but it has been stressful not having the whole group. As producer, it’s always stressful because there is a lot of money on the line, but I feel like I’ve done it enough by now that I have a pretty solid idea of what it takes, and just look at past show reports to calm myself when I start worrying about whether we’ll be able to make rent.

What has been the most rewarding part of the process so far?

Seeing the advances the cast has made. Like I said, big show, lots of fast-talking dialogue, it’s not an easy play. It’s exhausting, especially for the leads. But I’ve got an amazingly talented cast, and every rehearsal they’re leaps and bounds above where they were before, so it’s super fun and rewarding to see them get comfortable in their roles and play with a lot of the silliness that is there in the script. It’s going to be a funny show.

Why should people come and see the show?

It’s so much fun. Fast-paced, goofy, it’ll have you laughing and on the edge of your seat. Not to mention we’ve got a huge cast, so if you’re in the local theatre scene, chances are you know someone involved! Come out and support Toronto Theatre.

Anything else we should know?

Sadly, it’s a very limited engagement, just one weekend. So there are only 5 chances for the public to come and see the show; Thursday March 2, 8:00pm; Friday March 3, 8:00pm; Saturday March 4, 2:00pm and 8:00pm; Sunday March 5, 2:00pm. We encourage you to buy your tickets in advance, which can be done through the Native Earth box office, at www.nativeearth.ca/hisgirlfriday. Hope to see you there!

Cast Spotlight: Cass Van Wyck

cass-van-wyck-heashotCass Van Wyck plays “newspaper man” Hildy Johnson in our upcoming production of His Girl Friday; this is Cass’ first show with Bygone.

Bio: Cass Van Wyck is a Toronto based actress who splits her time between her online sketch comedy group ‘Cookie Biscuits’ and her role as volunteer coordinator at The Storefront Theatre. In addition to her BA in performance from Brock University, Cass has worked with many notable directors including Soheil Parsa, Sonia Norris & Daniel MacIvor. Her latest credits include Mercy Lewis in ‘The Crucible’ (The Kindling Collective) and Bridget in Broken Soil Theatre’s ‘#dirtygirl’ (Audience Choice Award winner at the Hamilton Fringe Festival). Originally from the small town of Fenwick, Ontario, Cass currently lives in Toronto and can normally be found baking chocolate chip cookies and cheering on the jays. She is so excited to be working with the Bygone Theatre team can’t wait to share the work with everyone!

How did you hear about Bygone Theatre and this production of His Girl Friday?

I had worked with the fabulous Sean Jacklin previously and he reached out and mentioned that Bygone Theatre was looking to cast the iconic role of Hildy Johnson in His Girl Friday. 

What made you want to be involved?/ what do you love about the story?

Bygone Theatre has a reputation for producing amazing work and when I heard there was an opportunity to audition for them, it was a no-brainer. Hildy Johnson is such an amazing character who’s gusto and wit tops most of the male characters which is incredibly refreshing, especially for the 1940s. She is unapologetically vibrant and such a treat to play. 

What’s your favourite old movie?

Wizard of Oz.

Have you been in a show like this before? What else might people have seen you in recently?

I’ve never done a show like this before. Recently I’ve been doing a lot more contemporary theatre including Hamilton Fringe Festival 2016 Audience Choice Award winning production of “#dirtygirl” director by Michael Kras. 

Why should people come and see the show?

As fast paced screwball comedy, His Girl Friday is an absolutely hoot with crazy characters who find them selves in crazier situations – just good ol fashion fun! 

Anything else you want us to know?

I’m so excited for people to see the amazing work this group of talented artists are doing! Going to be a good time!

See Cass live onstage March 2-5, 2017 at the Aki Studio, Daniels Spectrum.
Buy your tickets today.

Cast Spotlight: Guifré Bantjes-Ràfols

guifre_9845webGuifré Bantjes-Ràfols plays cop-killer Earl Williams in our upcoming production of His Girl Friday; this is his first show with Bygone.

Bio: Guifré Bantjes-Ràfols is an emerging international artist who has worked on productions in Toronto, Barcelona, and Saskatoon, and is thrilled to be joining Bygone Theatre as Earl Williams. Most recently he has appeared as Jacob Mercer in Salt-Water Moon (Quarter Century Theatre), Lazarus in Lazarus and his Beloved (Broken Hill Theatre), Cheever in The Crucible (Kindling Collective), and Nelson in the feature film Sebastian (Bonpland Pictures). He recently graduated from George Brown College’s Theatre Arts program where, in addition to playing roles such as Alexander Kalabushkin (The Suicide), and Joe (The Crackwalker), he produced and directed trailers and other promotional materials for the graduating season in 2015-16.

How did you hear about Bygone Theatre and this production of His Girl Friday?

I first heard about Bygone Theatre a couple of years ago when they were taking their production of Kill, Sister, Kill!, to the New York Fringe.  The show sounded really interesting so when my wonderful friend Sean Jacklin, who is playing the role of Walter Burns, was kind enough to tell me they were casting for His Girl Friday, I jumped at the opportunity. 

What made you want to be involved?/ what do you love about the story?

I really enjoyed the witty dialogue and fun characters when I read the script. All the characters offer so much room for play and depth. Even though there is a central narrative, and characters, that drives through the play, you really get a sense of everyone’s quirks and idiosyncrasies.

What’s your favourite old movie?

Probably Singin’ in the Rain. (Or perhaps Lion in Winter)

Have you been in a show like this before? What else might people have seen you in recently?

No, I can’t say I’ve ever been in a show quite like this before. It’ll be interesting to bring that film style to the stage.

In January, I played Jacob Mercer in Quarter Century Theatre’s production of Salt-Water Moon. But it was in Collingwood so… Unless you have a car, I won’t hold it against you if you didn’t make it out :p Before that, I played Cheever in The Crucible with Kindling Collective.

Why should people come and see the show?

Because it’s going to be great! Do you like wit? Do you like it with a touch of slapstick? Do you like to have a great story to tie it all together? (and do you like it to have a vintage film flavour?) Then you’ll love it. You’ll have a great time! What better reason to go to the theatre!?

Anything else you want us to know?

Not really.. 🙂 Most of my life is up in the air most of the time and I’m never really sure what I’ll be working on next. Hopefully something as cool and fun as this.

Get your tickets to His Girl Friday online now.

Cast Spotlight: Jessica Danov

jessica-danovJessica Danov plays secretary Maisie, and blonde bombshell Jeannie in the upcoming production of His Girl Friday; this is her first show with Bygone.

Bio: Jessica is thrilled to be making her debut with Bygone Theatre in ‘His Girl Friday’! A graduate of George Brown and Fanshawe College, Jessica has continued studying and working steadily. Some of her favourite roles include Lisa in Wine, Women, and Song (LIVEact Theatre), Tyler in Some Girl (s) (Tarragon Extra Space), and Natalie in Jenny’s House of Joy (Scarborough Players). Recent film and television credits include The Miracle of People, A Very Candid Game (Bronze Remi-award winner at the WorldFest-Houston Film Festival), and Haunted Case Files, where Jessica portrays real life paranormal investigator Marie Yates. She is currently producing and acting in her first original short film ‘Bad Vegan’ slated for release this fall.

How did you hear about Bygone Theatre and this production of His Girl Friday?  
A friend saw the posting and knew it’d be right up my alley so they passed it along to me. 

What made you want to be involved? What do you love about the story?                            

I’m a big fan of the classics.  Sometimes I feel like I was born in the wrong era!  What’s not to love about the story? It has everything! Madcap humour, romance, and a sprinkling of suspense and drama.  It’s great fun.

What’s your favourite old movie?                                                                                            

I have to pick just one? Alright, I’ll have to go with ‘Bringing up Baby’ with Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant. It’s a fantastic, fast-paced, screwball comedy.  I grew up watching old movies with my grandmother and her favourites were with Katharine Hepburn. She always wanted to see me play Katherine.  Though that opportunity hasn’t arisen (yet!), I think she would’ve really loved this play.

Have you been in a show like this before? What else might people have seen you in recently?  

I’ve never done anything like this up until this point, which is why I’m so thrilled to be getting the chance now!  The last play I did was called ‘Wine, Women, and Song’, a fun comedy where my character was described as a cross between Jessica Rabbit and Cruella DeVille! As far as film and television go, I’ve recently played a recurring role on the series ‘Haunted Case Files’ and am filming a short called ‘Bad Vegan’ slated for release in the fall.

Why should people come and see the show?                                                                              

With a stellar cast and classic laughter-inducing story full of heart, it’s guaranteed to be a great night out!          

His Girl Friday runs March 2-5 at the Aki Studio, Daniels Spectrum, Toronto. Buy tickets here.

Cast Spotlight: Steve Hobbs

steve-hobbs-high-rez-headshotComedian Steve Hobbs plays sweet but bland insurance salesman, Bruce Baldwin, in His Girl Friday; this is his first production with Bygone Theatre.

Bio: Steve Hobbs is an actor/comedian and a long-time Toronto improviser. A graduate of the Second City Conservatory sketch and Long-form programs, he’s known for his stage performances in hit Toronto Fringe shows like “Behold the Barfly!” (2016, 5N’s – Now Magazine) and performed, co-wrote and produced in “Everything Is Fine” (2014, 4N’s – Now Magazine, 4.5 stars – The Torontoist). In improv, he plays monthly in the James Bond-themed “Double Oh!” show, previously headlined Impatient Theatre Co. comedy nights with “El Fantoma”, and has been featured internationally in various comedy festivals (Detroit Improv Festival, North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival, NYC’s Del Close Marathon). Off-stage, he’s been a writer for The Second City Network, CBC Punchline and the Beaverton, as well as co-wrote the 48 hour film project 2016 finalist “Fumbled”. When he’s not performing, he’s coaching and teaching as part of the Second City Toronto faculty.

How did you hear about Bygone Theatre and this production of His Girl Friday?

I heard about the production through Emily Dix herself at Bygone, but she also close ties to a director/producer team that I go way back with to past Fringe successes and beyond. They kind of recommended me and played match maker a little bit, which was nice. Small world!

What made you want to be involved?/ what do you love about the story?

The theme of professional versions of ourselves clashing with our romantic ideals is something that I not only identify with personally, but it’s also pretty trendy these days (have you SEEN La La Land??). His Girl Friday nails the frustrating balancing act for me, and grabbed me as a lighter, more fun exploration of that same dichotomy and realities.

What’s your favourite old movie?

Uh oh. I know I should probably say “Casablanca” or something, but honestly, its probably more like that 60’s Adam West batman film. Bombs, sharks…it’s basically Casablanca.

Have you been in a show like this before? What else might people have seen you in recently?

I haven’t been in a production set in this particular era before, but I’ve been in multiple successful Fringe shows (“Behold, the Barfly!”, “Everything is Fine”) and make TV/youtube/stage appearances fairly often. I play in a monthly James Bond themed improv show as well, and guest as a comedian when I can.

Why should people come and see the show?

This show has a stellar cast, fast talking drama and comedy, and my character goes to jail a lot. It’s a winner, come watch!

Anything else you want us to know?

It’s my first time working with Bygone, and I’m PUMPED.

See Steve onstage this March in His Girl Friday tickets available online. 

Cast Spotlight: Sean Jacklin

sean-jacklinSean Jacklin plays hardboiled newspaper editor Walter Burns (Cary Grant in the film) in our upcoming production of His Girl Friday; this is Sean’s first production with Bygone Theatre.

Bio: Sean is a graduate of both George Brown College and the University of Guelph’s theatre training programs. While not acting, Sean also fancies himself a playwright, theatre technician, director and musician. Sean will be appearing shortly alongside Epigraph Collective in their show Don’t Look Back and as part of the Mercury Song series in Bright Lights, City Nights. Recent credits include: Deputy Governor Danforth in The Crucible (Kindling Collective), Eric Birling in An Inspector Calls and Harry Pepper in Barefoot in the Park (The Classic Theatre Festival), The Inspector in The Enchanted, Foigard in The Beaux’ Stratagem, Aristarch in The Suicide, and Augustus Lorton in Lady Windermere’s Fan (George Brown College)

How did you hear about Bygone Theatre and this production of His Girl Friday?

I actually heard about Bygone theatre last year when they were putting up Wait Until Dark. I had finished a run of that show the summer before and knew someone in it as well. This production (His Girl Friday) I learned about from Alex Clay. He messaged me saying the show needed another actor and I remember thoroughly enjoying the movie (and always loved Cary Grant) so I joined up!

What made you want to be involved?/ what do you love about the story?

The show is so witty and quick that I had to jump on the opportunity to play Burns. So much of the humour is influenced by the old vaudevillians (The Marx Bros., The Three Stooges, Laurel and Hardy etc.) and I was practically raised on that so it felt pretty natural to say yes to the show. 

What’s your favourite old movie?


Duck Soup. Hands down the best Marx Bros. film and one that leaves me in stitches every time I watch it. It’s also interesting to note when it was made. 1933, the same year a certain sad wannabe dictator was made chancellor of Germany. The whole movie is a send up of militarism and idiotic diplomacy. A movie well suited to our times as well I’d say (sadly).

Have you been in a show like this before? What else might people have seen you in recently?

I’ve worked with the Classic Theatre Festival in Perth, ON for the past 8 years or so on and of, both on stage and off and their mandate is to do the golden hits of Broadway and the West End so there is some overlap between their shows and Bygone theatre’s show. Most recently with them I played Eric in An Inspector Calls and Harry Pepper in Barefoot in the Park. More locally I played Deputy Governor Danforth in The Kindling Collective’s production of The Crucible  back in October and graduated from George Brown College’s theatre program last April, where I performed in Lady Windermere’s Fan, The Suicide, The Beaux’ Stratagem, and The Enchanted.

Why should people come and see the show?

If you love comedy, come to the show. If you want to see a show that stands out above some of its contemporaries when it comes to gender dynamics it is also an interesting piece. Most of all it’s gonna be a fast paced barrel of fun, and nobody should miss out on that.

Anything else you want us to know?

If you are looking for something completely different come to the Mercury Cafe on Queen E. March 10 and 11 for Bright Lights, City Nights. It’s a song series/play that myself and some of my George Brown colleagues have crafted about life in the city and all that entails. It’s a low-key but fun kinda thing. Alternatively I am also working with Epigraph Collective on Don’t Look Back, a verbatim theatre piece centred on the millennial generation and it’s struggles with life, love, and the baby boomers. It’s been incredibly eye opening interviewing different people to get material for the show and seeing how many different perspectives there are on certain issues and also how many similarities in opinions there are.

Tickets are on sale now for His Girl Friday – buy before Feb. 15th to take advantage of our Earlybird Discount.

Cast Spotlight: Michael Barkey

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Michael Barkey is playing reporter Endicott in our upcoming production of His Girl Friday; this will be his first Bygone Theatre production.

Bio: Michael Barkey, who plays the role of Endicott, is proud to join the cast of His Girl Friday. His most recent theatre role was as Marc in Sandworms! at Alumni Theatre.  His favourite role of 2016 was as Detective Carling in the feature length, sci-fi film Transmission, to be released in 2017.  Michael has trained at George Brown College, Second City, and Armstrong Acting Studios. He is a trained linguist, a licensed electrician, and has held diverse work and volunteer positions around the world.

1. How did you hear about Bygone Theatre and this production of His Girl Friday?

I discovered the casting call for the production on a casting website and applied right away. I didn’t know about Bygone Theatre before this but it’s clearly one of the best companies in Toronto!

2. What made you want to be involved? / What do you love about the story?

His Girl Friday is hilarious, see, and I love a good laugh. This is a chance to work on comedic timing, accents, and period specific themes.  The story is well crafted, and has substance and social relevance.  How grand that this is a screwball comedy but also touches on some darker themes such as greed, selfishness and corruption. 

3. What’s your favourite old movie?

At the moment, I’d say “The Big Sleep”.  Of the many amazing film noir stories, this classic stars a hard-boiled detective and has the delicious blend of an intricate plot, an undercurrent of desire and sexuality, and a cynical perspective of human nature that keeps me coming back for more. 

4. Have you been in a show like this before? What else might people have seen you in recently?

This is definitely the first time I’ll be acting in a stage adaptation of a classic film that was itself an adaptation of a play to begin with. What a treat!  

My most exciting recent role is in the independent, sci-fi, noir film “Transmission” due for release later in 2017.  You can find our more about this made-in-Toronto, soon-to-be-cult-classic, at the following website:

www.famousmotionpictures.com/films/transmission

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Michael Barkey in TRANSMISSION, Famous Motion Pictures/ Matthew Scott

5. Why should people come and see the show?

Come to see His Girl Friday for the damn good story and come for the laughs!  Come for the fast-paced passion, deceit, and moral ambiguity. You’ll also get a steamy glimpse into the world of the newspaper business in the early 20th century, with all it’s dubious practices.  Asking questions about the media and journalism is crucial these days and boy, this was quite the chapter in the history of the dissemination of information to the public.  Anything to get the story!

See Michael onstage this March in His Girl Friday – tickets on sale now.

Cast Spotlight: Alex Clay

Alex Clay plays newspaper man McCue in our upcoming production of His Girl Friday.

Bio: Alex studied at the University of Guelph and the University of Toronto, collecting degrees with all his might until he realized that the safest and most stable route for him was definitely acting. Alex debuted as Jason in Guelph Little Theatre’s Rabbit Hole. He then played Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a park somewhere. Next, he discovered the world of acting in short plays with Special Delivery at Theatre InspiraTO festival, Remembrance at Social Capital, and Lifeboat at Small But Mighty Productions. Alex then got his creep on. First, as a dimwitted camera operator turned enigmatic demon in Interview with a Demon, then as a teenage prodigy turned psychopathic murderer in The Dialogues of Leopold and Loeb. This summer Alex made his Toronto Fringe Festival debut in Inch of Your Life: Episode 1…stay tuned folks! Most recently, he trekked to Windsor to play Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire. Alex is thrilled to be making his Bygone Theatre debut with this amazing group of artists.

1. How did you hear about Bygone Theatre and this production of His Girl Friday?
I do my best to keep up with as many theatre companies in Toronto as I can, so at some point I stumbled upon Bygone Theatre and I really liked their mandate and play selection, so I began following them on social media. I have a few friends who have worked with them in the past as well. When I saw the casting call for His Girl Friday I was excited to see that their newly adapted script was made available. I read the script, loved it, auditioned, and here we are!

2. What made you want to be involved?/ what do you love about the story?
There is a strong female lead; Hildy Johnson is badass. It’s a classic screwball comedy. Many of the characters are so self involved that in the context of the play it’s funny, but it’s also a statement that still resonates today about how people can become desensitized by the tedium of their jobs. Media coverage is a hot issue these days and this play provides an insider look at the coverage of a high profile case.

3. What’s your favourite old movie?
This is a really tough one. I’m a huge fan of Hitchcock, including Rope and Dial M for Murder, both of which Bygone Theatre has produced. But if I had to go with one it would probably be Fritz Lang’s mystery thriller M…or Jean Renoir’s pacifist war film La Grand Illusion…or Vittorio De Sica’s heart wrenching Bicycle Thieves. I told you this was a tough one. These three films could probably not be any more different from one another, but they all have really interesting things to say about the human condition. La Grand Illusion is a film about the First World War that subtly reveals the looming danger of Hitler (released in 1937), and Fritz Lang ably shows the dangers of a mob mentality when a child murderer is on the loose, and De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves is partly responsible for breathing life into a new way of filmmaking. This is ground breaking, revolutionary, must-watch material. #selfidentifiedfilmnerd

4. Have you been in a show like this before? What else might people have seen you in recently?
Around this time last year I was in a new play by Brad Walton called The Dialogues of Leopold and Loeb which is only similar in so far as it was set only about a decade prior to His Girl Friday. This script demands a fairly fast paced delivery of the lines, which is something I became accustomed to in working on Massimo Pagliaroli’s Inch of Your Life: Episode 1 at last year’s Toronto Fringe Festival. I look forward to working with Massimo and his great cast and crew on the upcoming instalments in that series.

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Former Bygone member Tom Beattie and actor Alex Clay in The Dialogues of Leopold and Loeb.

5. Why should people come and see the show?
People should see this show because there is nothing else quite like it, certainly not on the stage in Toronto anyway. It’s got humour, mystery, intrigue, and phenomenal period appropriate costume and set design. The tickets are quite affordable and we are performing at a relatively new and up and coming venue, the home of Native Earth Performing Arts, Aki Studio at Daniels Spectrum. Check out Métis Mutt before it closes on February 5th!

6. Anything else you want us to know?
Go to the theatre, if not this show, then some other one (but definitely still consider this one). The performance of a play only lasts 60, 90, 120 minutes, whatever its runtime may be, and then it ends and will never be seen again. You can do a one-month run and no two shows will be the same. It’s alive, it’s breathing and it’s brought to you by talented (often local) artists. I could not be more proud of what I do, and I do it for you. Support the arts!

Cast Spotlight: Matthew Hallworth

Matthew Hallworth plays reporter Roy Bensinger in our upcoming production of His Girl Friday.

Bio: Matthew is a Toronto-based Producer, Writer, Actor, Improviser and Singer. He is a largely supportive member of the Toronto Improv Community both on stage and as a Stage Manager at The Second City. His most notable work is “Fumbled” a short film created as part of the 48 Hour Film Project which he was Producer, Writer and Actor on and won “2nd Runner Up” and “Best Ensemble”.

1. How did you hear about Bygone Theatre and this production of His Girl Friday?
I have been familiar with Bygone Theatre for some time because of their Retro Radio Hour shows, I just had to jump on the opportunity to do a fast-talking 1940’s piece!

2. What made you want to be involved?/ what do you love about the story?
I’ve always had a fascination with classic comedies and as a modern comedic performer; I feel its important to be in touch with these classic styles as so many elements are still very much crucial today. I love all the layers to this work; the love triangle, the sleazy reporters, the big plot changes and the fun of all of it!

3. What’s your favourite old movie?
The Great Dictator (1940) I’m a huge admirer of Chaplin’s work and this one really speaks to me as a brave political satire which mocked Hitler before the world knew him to be a monster. Everyone knows the famous speech at the end, but the film all around is a beautiful work of slapstick and screwball comedy, all the bits with Chaplin and Jack Oakie still make me laugh hysterically. 

4. Have you been in a show like this before? What else might people have seen you in recently?
I was once cast in a slapstick production which unfortunately never came to be! I’m mainly an Improviser and perform throughout the city, I recently Produced and Directed Miracle on the Danforth, an Improvised Holiday Special at the Social Capital. In March you can see me in Round 2 of the World’s Biggest Improv Tournament with my esteemed partner, Sean Browning. 

5. Why should people come and see the show?
The comedy, drama and relationships in this piece are timeless; add to that the presence of a strong female character (Hildy) and, well, this is going to be a great time! 

See Matthew onstage this March in His Girl Friday. Buy tickets now.