Tonight I got to start the 2017 winter/spring community theatre show season with a historical drama at Oshawa Little Theatre entitled “A Man For All Seasons”.
Brief synopsis: You got Thomas More, all around nice guy and medieval-era-type-politician. Then there’s King Henry VIII who wants to divorce his wife, Queen Catherine, and shack up with Ann Boleyn because chances are he can knock her up and then he gets himself a son and heir. For Henry to pull this off, he would begin the Reformation of England and the end of the Catholic religion in England. Sir Thomas is against this concept and sticks to his guns until the bitter end.
OLT veteran Michael Schneider played the revered Catholic saint, Sir Thomas More. I’ve seen Michael perform many times and am so used to seeing him in “character” roles (Pseudelus in Forum, Roger De Bris in The Producers and The Devil in Damn Yankees). Surprisingly for me, I found that this role suited him. It grounded him and really showed me what he can do as an actor. He had a simplicity on stage, and I do mean that as a compliment. You could feel that he had found the heart of More and was using his own compassion and spirituality to bring More’s endurance of moral character to life.
Will van dear Zyl played the conniving Thomas Cromwell. He had such a strong presence on stage tonight. I was drawn into each word he was saying and frankly he was creeping me out a bit too! The way he moved on stage, and gestured showed how well he can embody a character. He made his fellow actors’ performances excel when they shared the stage with him. He definitely knows how to bring out the best in the actors he shares the stage with. I loved the way his character arched throughout the show and really loved the strength he brought into the courtroom scene near the end of the show.
The production was directed by Geoffrey Coulter and hats off to the man, indeed! This is a LONG show. I’ll be honest, I didn’t know what I was in for. But Mr. Coulter created a beautiful world for me to watch and entertaining characters to drive the moral (or immoral at times) plot line home. I could tell that a lot of character development and focus went into his direction of this production.
- To Kathryn Fraser and Tyler Cox for being such a cute couple! The further into the show we got, the more and more I enjoyed your characters and saw the development that you had obviously worked on. Bravo!
- To the incomparable Christopher Furlong who was the only comic relief of the show and did a damn fine job of it at that!
- To Colin Hughes for a really beautiful lighting design. I particularly liked the looks in the Pub, Jail and at the very end as More climbed the stairs for the final time.
Congratulations to the cast, crew & creative team of OLT’s “A Man For All Seasons”! The show runs February 2-4, 9-12 and 16-18 at 62 Russet Ave., Oshawa. Visit www.oshawalittletheatre.com or call 905-723-0282 for tickets.