The Rover Closes Erindale Theatre Season


Spring Break Italian-style, as horny youngsters of both genders descend on Naples at carnival time – with sex and violence around every corner. Swordfights! Disguises! Seductions! Courtesans! – the first woman in the world to earn her living with her pen created a party that never stops!  And that’s the party that will draw the curtain on Theatre Erindale’s “Uppity Women” 2013-2014 Season from March 13 to 23.

Aphra Behn was one of the most successful playwrights of the Restoration, the period when the King had returned, the theatres had re-opened, and women had at last been allowed onto the stage. Though she enjoyed brief careers as an actor and a spy, it was as a playwright and novelist that she made her mark. Her most famous comedy, The Rover, held the stage for a hundred years, but by the late eighteenth century it was thought too wicked to produce in its original form. It survived another half century in expurgated versions before the Victorians decided that no woman should ever have written anything so shameless and buried it – almost forever!

Fortunately, it was rediscovered in the 1980s and re-mounted successfully around the world in a version by John Barton that re-located the setting to the Caribbean from Italy and added a lot of his own material. For this production, however, Nancy Copeland and Patrick Young have gone back to Behn’s original text and pared it down to expose the provocative bones of her exciting action, humour, and poetry.

Three rebellious young girls escape their cloister and go searching for love in carnival-time – only to find more than they bargained for in the shape of four roaming English cavaliers. And wouldn’t you know it? The novice nun is attracted to the greatest rogue of the bunch – but finds herself competing with the city’s most famous courtesan for his favours! “Locker-room machismo … [but] it is the women who have the last word….” Wrote the New York Times.“Though I was laughing hard I was at times deeply shocked and even moved …” wrote Peter Terrence. “A delight … delicious and funny … high spirits and sexual frankness …” wrote the Chicago Tribune.

Special Guest Director Melee Hutton deserted an award-winning West-End London career as an actress to come to Canada, where she is Artistic Director of KICK Theatre (5 Dora Nominations for Miss Julie: Sheh’mah), director of Wordsmyth’s The Dumb Waiter (another Dora nomination), an instructor at York University, and a busy actor for stage and television. The Rover, she says,”is a play about the wildness of youth and its lack of commitment. Youth is free; maturity demands some self-reflection and mooring. This young, committed and vigorous cast have been a pleasure to explore the world with.” Period costumes for the show are by Theatre Erindale’s  Joanne Massingham, and the fights are directed by the inimitable Daniel Levinson.

The Rover runs March 13-15 and 20-23 at the Erindale Studio Theatre, with evening performances Thursday through Saturday and matinées on Saturdays and on Sunday March 23. Single tickets are still only $10-$15 and parking is $6.00. For tickets and information, call the Box Office at 905-569-4369 or .

NOTE:  The North entrance to the UTM campus is now closed for construction. Please use the Main or South (Collegeway) entrances and follow Outer Circle Road around to the CCT Garage or Lot 1.

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Melee Hutton at 416-834-1940
Production Photos by Jim Smagata from Monday March 10:

by Aphra Behn
adapted by Nancy Copeland and Patrick Young
directed by Melee Hutton
Action and Farce meet Romance and Melodrama in the Restoration!
Preview Mar 13; Opening Mar 14; runs Mar 15 and 20-23
Thurs 7:30; Fri 8:00; Sat 2:00 & 8:00; Sun 23 Mar 2:00
Erindale Studio Theatre
(Mississauga Road north of Dundas) or 905-569-4369TheRover

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