Preview: Blackbird Theatre presents 'The Rivals'

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Blackbird theatre presents The Rivals as a part of their 10th anniversary season from December 28 to January 23 at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre.

Written by Richard Brinsley Sheridan, this play is a combination of a love story and a comedy set in Edwardian England (usually it is set in the 18th century).

The classic story of mistaken identity has ingenue Lydia Languish in a tizzy when she realizes that her well-adored ensign is actually a esteemed and well-connected Captain. Lydia faces a flurry of ridiculous suitors, encouraged by her enthusiastic but overbearing aunt, Mrs. Malaprop, who is entertaining in her own right as with her bumbling linguistic mistakes.

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Photo Credit: Tim Matheson

The plot is complicated by the neurotic Faulkland, who is ever paranoid that his lover, Julia, will become unfaithful. Add in a dash of hilarious confusion and mistaken identity, this classic show is the perfect balance of humour and propriety. Intriguingly, this play introduced the term “malapropism” to the theatre world and the English language through the creation of the character, Mrs. Malaprop who constantly mixes up her words.

The Rivals is directed by two time Jessie Award winner (Outstanding direction for blackbird Theatre’s Triumph of Love and Bard on the Beach’s The Merry Wives of Windsor) Johnna Wright. The cast is also chock full of Vancouver talent, starring Gabrielle Rose as Mrs. Malaprop, Scott Bellis, Duncan Fraser, Martin Happer, Luisa Jojic, Emma Slipp, Kirk Smith, John Emmet Tracy, and Jenny Wasko-Paterson.

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Blackbird Theatre Company’s The Rivals is sure to be a delight of a spectacle, combining classic absurdity with a modernized sense of humour. Watching  Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s characters of ridiculous but well-crafted characters navigate a plot of confusion, tension and even comical nonsense is the perfect way to ring in the New Year.


Blackbird Theatre Company presents The Rivals at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre (1895 Venables Street, Vancouver) from December 28 – January 23. Tickets start at $27.

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Cassady Ranford Cassady is a musical theatre actor who writes novels on the side. She is also a tea enthusiast. Cassady hopes to one day be a published author. Keep up with Cassady on Twitter @Cassadyshea or on her blog adventuresofanintrovert.com or her personal website cassadyranford.com
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