February 2, 2011

Influence – a play about the arrival of the Elgin Marbles in Britain

Posted at 2:23 pm in Elgin Marbles, Events

A play on in Victoria, British Columbia, is set during the arrival of the Parthenon Marbles in Britain in 1817, when a young John Keats visits them for the first time.

Intrepid Theatre presents:
by Janet Munsil

March 4-5 & March 9-12, 8pm
Sunday Matinees + talkback: March 6 + 13, 2 pm
At the Metro Studio (Quadra at Johnson), Victoria BC
TICKETS $25: www.intrepidtheatre.com or call 250 590 6291

“A winner. . .I can’t wait for the day that Janet Munsil’s Influence will extend across the seas to be presented where it’s set, in London.” Vancouver Sun

Audiences in Victoria, BC will get a rare chance to see internationally renowned Victoria playwright Janet Munsil’s latest work, Influence, when the play makes its Victoria premiere at the Metro Studio in March.

Intrepid Theatre, better known for presenting independent theatre and the Fringe Festival, are moving into producing in-house with this large-scale theatrical production, which will coincide with the company’s 25th anniversary. Munsil, also Intrepid Theatre’s Artistic Director, will be directing, and is thrilled that her tale of ancient gods and new world mortals will finally be shared with audiences in her home town.

“Of all the time periods and imaginary worlds I’ve had a chance to immerse myself in as a playwright, this one was hardest to leave,” said Munsil. “Even though the play has a serious issue at its centre – who owns ancient art? – the mix of fantasy and comedy makes it fun for audiences. I’m so looking forward to meeting up with these characters again – and to start on what we hope will be a new avenue of programming for Intrepid Theatre – an annual in-house production.”

Influence is set in the British Museum in 1817, the date of the controversial arrival of the Elgin Marbles. A young John Keats is taken on a visit to the museum by painter Benjamin Haydon when he inadvertently wanders into the middle of a millennia old feud waged by the gods of ancient Greece amidst the kidnapped statues of Athena’s Parthenon.

The play was commissioned and first produced by Touchstone Theatre in Vancouver in 2008 (directed by Katrina Dunn). While Influence had a reading in Victoria that same year, this will be the first time it has been performed in Victoria.

Janet Munsil has been working for Intrepid since 1992 and is also a playwright whose works (that elusive spark, Circus Fire, Be Still, Emphysema) have been produced by some of the most respected contemporary theatres in the world (including Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre & London’s Soho Theatre). Influence is produced in association with her new Victoria-based production company, Missing Page.
Influence will feature a cast of Victoria’s favourite actors (Ian Case, Paul Terry, Elliott Loran, David Radford and Karen Lee Pickett).

“A comment from a teenager after the show sums everything up perfectly: ‘It was like an explosion of awesomeness in my brain.’ Totally.” Plank Magazine

Influence is part of Intrepid Theatre’s Jan – Apr 2011 Season. Intrepid Theatre gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Vancouver Foundation, McLean Foundation, CRD, Canadian Heritage, British Columbia Arts Council, the Province of British Columbia and the Assembly of British Columbia Arts Councils.

INTREPID THEATRE’S 25th YEAR Intrepid Theatre was founded in 1986 and in 2011 celebrates a quarter of a century of adventurous shows, courageous artists and thrill-seeking audiences. Intrepid Theatre produces the annual Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival, Uno Fest: Canada’s Singular Live Theatre Event, and a year-round series of international theatre presentations and premieres for local indie companies.


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