Stratford: “All’s Well That Ends Well” begins performances on June 14

Monday, June 13, 2022

The Stratford Festival’s new Tom Patterson Theatre opens its doors to its second production on Tuesday, June 14, as director Scott Wentworth’s production of All’s Well That Ends Well begins performances.

This Shakespearean comedy follows Helen, the orphaned daughter of a celebrated physician, who works a miraculous cure on the King of France. As her reward, she claims the hand of Bertram, a family friend whom she adores. Although the union has the blessing of Bertram’s mother, the Countess of Rossillion, and the King, Bertram resents being forced into marriage, and Helen finds herself in search of another miracle.

The production features Jordin Hall as Bertram, Jessica B. Hill as Helen, Seana McKenna as the Countess of Rossillion, Ben Carlson as the King of France, André Sills as Lavatch, and Rylan Wilkie as Parolles.

They are joined by Elizabeth Adams, Anousha Alamian, Sean Arbuckle, Peter N. Bailey, Nigel Bennett, Wayne Best, Michael Blake, Brefny Caribou, Jon de Leon, Allison Edwards-Crewe, Christo Graham, Kim Horsman, Daniel Krmpotic, Devin MacKinnon, Jonathan Mason, Hilary McCormack, Chanakya Mukherjee, Lisa Nasson, Irene Poole, Sepehr Reybod, Tyler Rive and Lindsay Wu.

This breathtakingly beautiful production was designed by Michelle Bohn, with lighting design by Louise Guinand and sound design by Paul Shilton, who also composed the music.

The play was selected for the first season in the new Tom Patterson Theatre along with Richard III, as the two plays also opened the Festival’s inaugural season in 1953. As then All’s Well That Ends Well is set in the modern era, in this case against the backdrop of World War I.

“When I am directing a play by Shakespeare, I am governed by the principle that the play continues to speak to us,” says Wentworth, “but we must listen with our modern ears. The play we are hearing today is a very different play from the one Tyrone Guthrie and his company heard in 1953. And that’s as it should be. The play our company is hearing, with all its contradictions, seems very much a play for our world as it is today. A play for our time."

“This is a play of sickness and healing, of death and new life. It is a play of consequences, of scars. It is a play of love, both physical and spiritual. And finally, it is a play of hope, of paradise lost and the cost of paradise regained.”

All’s Well That Ends Well has its gala opening on July 8 and runs until October 29. For tickets and information visit www.stratfordfestival.ca or call 1.800.567.1600.

The 2022 season runs until October 30, featuring Hamlet, Chicago, The Miser, Little Women, Richard III, All’s Well That Ends Well, Death and the King’s Horseman, Every Little Nookie, Hamlet-911 and 1939.

Photo: Seana McKenna and Jessica B. Hill. © 2022 David Hou.