Stage Door News

Niagara-on-the-Lake: Howard Barker’s “Victory” begins previews July 14

Friday, July 12, 2019

An extreme exploration of the power of words, Howard Barker’s Victory is not for the squeamish. A tale of survival set against the violent aftermath of the English civil war, Victory uses language as a weapon, challenging a modern audience’s expectations of what theatre should be. Directed by Artistic Director Tim Carroll, Victory features an all-star ensemble cast led by Martha Burns, Sara Topham, Patrick Galligan, Gray Powell, Tom Rooney and Tom McCamus. The Shaw Festival’s production begins previews on Sunday, July 14 at the Jackie Maxwell Studio Theatre. 

In the 17th century, amidst the orgy of retribution and revenge that followed King Charles II’s restoration to the throne of England, Bradshaw (Martha Burns), a Puritan widow, fights to give her dishonoured husband’s body a proper burial. But to achieve her goal, she must be willing to risk losing her dignity – and more.

Designer Rachel Forbes has fully grounded this production in 17th century England – highlighting the stark contrast between the frivolity of life at court and the harsh reality outside. Forbes’s set and costume designs are supported by original music and a soundscape by Claudio Vena, lighting by Kevin Lamotte and movement direction by Esie Mensah

Victory is on stage at the Jackie Maxwell Studio Theatre (10 Queen’s Parade, Niagara-on-the-Lake) from July 14 to October 12. The Jackie Maxwell Studio Theatre is sponsored by Paradigm Capital Inc.

Warning: Victory is deliberately offensive. The playwright brilliantly explores the use of language as a weapon. It is not for the squeamish and contains very strong language.

Recommended for ages 17+. Approximate running time: 2 hours and 45 minutes, including one intermission.

The Shaw Festival’s 2019 season is on stage April 6 through December 22 featuring a playbill that includes The Horse and His Boy, Brigadoon, The Ladykillers, Man and Superman with Don Juan in Hell, Rope, Getting Married, The Russian Play, Cyrano de Bergerac, The Glass Menagerie, Sex, VictorySecret Theatre, A Christmas Carol and Holiday Inn. Tickets for the 2019 Festival season are available through the Box Office at 1-800-511-SHAW and online at

Photo: Tom McCamus and Martha Burns. © 2018 Peter Andrew Lusztyk.