Stage Door News

Toronto: Nightwood Theatre presents “Mad Madge” April 9-21

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Nightwood Theatre is honoured to continue its acclaimed 2023/24 Season with Mad Madge, presented in association with VideoCabaret from April 9-21, 2024 at The Theatre Centre (1115 Queen St W). Mad Madge is directed by Dora Mavor Moore Award-winning theatre artist Andrea Donaldson and written by Rose Napoli, who shines in the title role as Margaret Cavendish, a real-life poet, philosopher and scandal-maker from the 17th century.

Meet Margaret Cavendish - a Jill-of-all-Trades and mistress of none. In her unapologetic pursuit of fame, Madge ditches her dysfunctional family to join the court of an unruly Queen and leave her mark on history.

Paying homage to Jane Austen and Tina Fey in the same breath, this laugh out loud contemporary-period mashup suggests that perhaps a woman’s hunger for unbridled attention is not so shallow, after all.

Napoli’s whip-smart, hysterically funny and lightning-fast dialogue is beautifully complemented by set and costume design by Dora Award winner Astrid Janson and Abby Esteireiro, who will immerse audiences with a set in the round, and with modern fabrics cheekily combined with period silhouettes. A star-studded cast brings the production’s gender-bending, stereotype-smashing characters to life, including Napoli herself, Karl Ang (Factory Theatre’s Monster), Wayne Burns (NOW Magazine Breakthrough Theatre Artist), Izad Etemadi (Grand Theatre’s Grow and Elf: The Musical), Farhang Ghajar (Bremen Town, Soulpepper’s The Seagull), and Nancy Palk (One of the Top Ten Toronto Theatre Artists of 2023 - Glenn Sumi).

Dora Award-nominated playwright Rose Napoli has her finger on the pulse in the era of SIX The Musical and Pride & Prejudice* (*sort of), elegantly capturing the zeitgeist of the moment of irreverent period pieces that span the lifetime of historical figures. Following her portrayal of Catherine de Medici in Kat Sandler’s Wildwoman - a performance hailed as “perfect” by Intermission Magazine - Napoli is poised to blow audiences away yet again in Mad Madge.

Rose Napoli is an actor and author of six plays, including Lo (or Dear Mr. Wells), nominated for the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play. Her musical adaptation of Mavis Gallant's 'The Carrette Sisters' with composer Suzy Wilde was nominated for the Dora for Outstanding New Musical (as part of Musical Stage Company's RETOLD series). She is currently working on new theatre projects with Crow’s Theatre, Tarragon Theatre, and Musical Stage Company. Onstage as an actor, she has played for audiences of Soulpepper Theatre, Canadian Stage, Nightwood Theatre, Crow’s Theatre, Citadel Theatre, and others. Onscreen, she has developed television shows with CBC, Bell/Crave, Cameron Pictures, Shaftesbury, and Circle Blue Entertainment. Rose is an alumna of the Canadian Film Centre, where she now teaches.


Written by Rose Napoli

Directed by Andrea Donaldson

Starring Rose Napoli, Karl Ang, Wayne Burns, Izad Etemadi, Farhang Ghajar and Nancy Palk

Designed by Astrid Janson and Abby Esteireiro

Lighting Design: Rebecca Vandevelde

*Represented by the Associated Designers of Canada, IATSE Local ADC659

When: April 9 to 21, 2024 at 7:30pm (Mondays are dark). Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:00pm.

Previews: April 9 and 10, 2024 at 7:30pm

Opening Night: April 11, 2024 at 7:30pm

Where: The Theatre Centre, 1115 Queen St. W.

Approx. Runtime: 2 hours (including intermission)

Price: Tickets range from Pay What You Can to $65.00

To purchase tickets:

Photo: Rose Napoli as Mad Madge.