Saturday, September 07, 2013

The Festival Theatre, Stratford

It was only on our third day at The Stratford Festival that we finally attended a performance in the primary venue, the Festival Theatre. All four performances we were to attend on our final two days at Stratford were at the Festival Theatre.

The Festival Theatre opened in 1957. It accommodates 1826 patrons.

Stratford Festival productions expected to be most popular at the box office are presented at the Festival Theatre. We saw “The Merchant Of Venice”, “Fiddler On The Roof”, “Romeo And Juliet” and “The Three Musketeers” at the Festival Theatre.

The Festival Theatre is too large for all but the most gargantuan of productions (such as big musicals). In the last half-century, the scale of theaters has been significantly reduced—rightly, in my opinion. If the Festival Theatre were to be recreated today, it would undoubtedly be one-third smaller. As it is, the Festival Theatre is far from an ideal playing space: it is somewhat barn-like and antiseptic, aesthetically arid and in no way inviting.

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