Peter Hendra previews Bottle and Glass – The Play in The Whig

Posted on Sep 23, 2016 | 0 comments

By Peter Hendra From The Kingston Whig-Standard

Callum Lurie rehearses Bottle and Glass out front of Kingston City Hall.

Callum Lurie rehearses Bottle and Glass out front of Kingston City Hall.

If you’re out for a quiet drink next week, don’t be surprised if you run into a larger and louder group than usual in the pub.

Bottle and Glass, an immersive play about Kingston’s drinking establishments circa 1814, debuts this week as part of Kingston WritersFest and will see a 25-member audience trailing behind a group of actors as they embark on a pub crawl.

The play is based on the book of the same name by local author Morgan Wade, who launched his book during last year’s WritersFest. During that event, Theatre Kingston artistic producer Brett Christopher, who had read it in advance, staged a scene at the launch at the Queen’s Inn, where it took place, and was happy with the response from those in attendance.

So he asked Wade to adapt the book for the stage, er, pub, while he took on the director’s role.

Theatre Kingston staged a two-actor adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice at the Frontenac Inn last year, and it proved to be a hit, selling out almost immediately (the four shows this week also sold out quickly). If that wasn’t enough, the site-specific productions at this summer’s Kick & Push Festival also proved popular.

Directing this type of play was a new experience for the seasoned Christopher, who brought in Liam Kerry of Single Thread Theatre Company, whose specialty is site-specific plays, as associate director.

“There’s a completely different level of intimacy to the performance,” he said. “When you’re arm’s length away, the performances are much more naturalistic. They require people to be constantly in character. And there’s no offstage.”

While this week’s “proof of concept” performances are sold out, fret not: Christopher said it may return soon enough.

“Theoretically, if it’s really successful, I wouldn’t be surprised if it shows its face at Kick & Push 2017,” he said.



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