Thursday, January 30, 2014

measure for measure | responses

"Go see this play, Measure for Measure is considered one of the problem plays, and it is problematic. It’s uncomfortable, nuanced, and it refuses to offer simple morality. Those elements can either be the thing that makes the play brilliant, or a muddled mess. The production by Honest Fishmongers is on the side of brilliance." | Alexandra, The Play's the Thing

"Having studied the play at University of Winnipeg and seen productions of it before I loved Shakespeare all over again. Thanks for a lovely night of classical theatre done well. The Honest Fishmongers are a delight." | William Hay, Blog

"There is such talent and clarity of story in the Honest Fishmongers production of Measure for Measure it is never a ‘problem’. ... This cast is tremendous. And even as I wished for a little more lechery early-on from Simon Webb as Angelo, his contrition in the end is immensely heartfelt and redeeming moment of the play. Peter Anderson makes much of his Lucio and Julie McIsaac embraces the contradictions of her Isabella with skill. Michael Fera is a study in contrasts with a delightfully buffoonish Elbow and a tempered and reasonable Provost." | Mark Robins, GayVancouver.Net

"Well done, to the players of The Honest Fishmongers and Pacific Theatre for presenting another twist on a classic favourite." | Erin Jane, Review Vancouver

"Under Bennett’s direction all of the acting is admirable. Michael Fera impresses as both the compassionate prison Provost and the ridiculous constable, Elbow. Alison Kelly brings rock-solid authority to Escalus, the court advisor; Jeff Gladstone is moving as Claudio; and Katharine Venour brings touching depth to Mariana, a woman who is haplessly in love with Angelo." | Colin Thomas, The Georgia Straight

"The superb casting gives the audience fantastic guides through this story. While all players were faultless in bringing their characters to life, Peter Anderson’s perfect comedic timing as Lucio was particularly brilliant, and most helpful in striking the balance between the dark and light elements. … Though perhaps difficult to imagine, I attended a play about serious moral questions and had fun while doing it. I hope that you will imagine no further, and, instead, visit this dazzling production yourself." Robin Lawrence, The MB Herald

"If anyone can make power-mad, dissolute Angelo look repentant at the end of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, it’s Simon Webb. Woebegone, eyes averted, he speaks the lines, “Immediate sentence then, and sequent death/Is all the grace I beg” with such sincerity, Webb does tug a little on the heartstrings." | Jo Ledingham, The Vancouver Courier

"To reflect the murky subterranean currents of psychology and plot, director Bennett and designers Shizuka Kai and Graham Ockley have lit Pacific Theatre’s basement like a cave, marking each corner of the stage with a dozen small candles. Whenever an actor claps twice, the full lights go off, leaving only the candles to light the play. Each actor also holds a candle near his or her face. The visual effect is a handsome chiaroscuro, like a Michelangelo painting." | Jerry Wasserman, The Province

"This production is well worth checking out. Chances are you won’t experience the Bard in an atmosphere more intimate and collegial than this. Kevin Bennett and The Honest Fishmongers deliver a fine product and show great promise for the future." | Tony Grant, Vancouver Vantage


Anonymous said...

Some have called those 'candles' (OIL LAMPS) and the cardboard set a SERIOUS FIRE HAZARD! I sure wouldn't feel safe if I had to sit on the booth side of the theatre.

Andrea Loewen said...


Thank you for your concern regarding the oil candle inserts being used in our production. I would like to inform you of all of the precautions which we have taken to ensure that this is, infact, not a "serious" fire hazard, and that the chances of a fire in Pacific Theatre are extremely unlikely.

Firstly, these are 'soft light liquid wax candles', made specifically for use in the restaurant industry. Here is a link to the companies page ( The oil in these candle inserts is a type of kerosene oil which, although it is flammable, it is what is referred to as 'slowburning', and not (like gasolene) explosive. Infact it would take a long time to light this liquid if you put a match right up to it. The oil is sealed in plastic candle "inserts" which we have placed securly into glass mason jars. The plastic is sealed so if dropped is near impossible to break and spill the kerosene oil. As an extra precaution the inserts have been glued to the bottom of the mason jars (where the flame is 1.5-2 inches from the top of the jar, creating a glass barrier from the open flame and anything surrounding it. If the jar falls (which we have tested by simply dropping it from six feet above the ground) it not only is unlikely to break (mason jars are extremely durable), but the plastic insert is glued to the bottom so the flame has little opportunity to reach anything outside of the jar itself.

In addition to these precautions we have placed numerous fire extinguishers at every entrance/exit of Pacific Theatre and trained all Pacific Theatre staff and performers on the use of these particular fire extinguishers. In fact there are a few located directly behind the actors' entrances, the closest possible location to the actors, if needed. We are also ensuring that all costumes/objects which come near in proximity to the candle inserts have been properly covered with fire retardant.

I hope you can enjoy the magical effect of Shakespeare lit by candle light in our production. We find that experimenting with these candles have truly been a rewarding experience of jumping back in time, while also keeping the play fresh to todays audience. The effect of theatre lit by candles puts a focus on the audiences auditory senses and creates an experience where the words, and listening to the play become more predominant compared to a production lit entirely by modern electrical lighting and has given us a deeper insight into this marvellous play. We hope you enjoy it as much as we have enjoyed creating this theatrical experience.