Entertainment

Mary's Wedding a tale of love and loss, war and peace

Annette Reilly and Matt Veenbaas perform in Gallery 7’s production of Mary’s Wedding by Stephen Massicotte. - DIANNA LEWIS / Creative Memory Studios
Annette Reilly and Matt Veenbaas perform in Gallery 7’s production of Mary’s Wedding by Stephen Massicotte.
— image credit: DIANNA LEWIS / Creative Memory Studios

Gallery 7 Theatre of Abbotsford BC is presenting the Canadian play Mary’s Wedding*, by Stephen Massicotte. Set against the backdrop of the First World War, Mary’s Wedding is a beautiful, moving story of love and loss, war and peace.

On the night before her wedding, Mary dreams of love, war, what was and what could be. Her thoughts focus on her first paramour, Charlie, who she met by chance in a barn while seeking shelter from a prairie thunderstorm.  An innocent romance develops, only to be thwarted by the turbulent times of 1914.  Separated by war, Charlie sends letters from the front, and a story of love, loss and healing emerges in a beautiful and poetic theatre experience written by one of Canada’s leading playwrights.

Since its premier in 2002, Mary’s Wedding has been widely produced both nationally and internationally, becoming one of Canada’s great theatre success stories. Massicotte’s celebration of innocent love and exploration of heroism and the atrocities of war was inspired by The Lady of Shallot and Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred Lord Tennyson, as well as the Strathcona Regiment’s heroic charge on Moreuil Wood during WW1.

“This play has been on my must-do list for several years now,” said Gallery 7 Theatre’s Artistic Director, Ken Hildebrandt. “The story is so touching and the writing so poetic.  Though it deals with some deep heart & soul issues, the play leaves us with a sense of hope and perhaps ironically, a sense of peace. It’s really an amazing play that way.”

Gallery 7’s production features the acting talents of Annette Reilly in the role of Mary, and Matt Veenbaas in the role of Charlie. Reilly, who resides in Maple Ridge, is making a welcome return to the Gallery 7 stage after having directed productions of Pride and Prejudice and The Matchmaker for the company.

Veenbaas recently played Earnest in last spring’s production of The Importance of Being Earnest and Willoughby in November’s production of Sense and Sensibility.

Making her directorial debut at Gallery 7 with this show is Katherine Hill. Hill is a BA Honors graduate in Film and Theatre from the University of Reading, England, and has worked as an actor, director and a producer for both theatre and film.

Mary’s Wedding runs January 24-26 and Jan. 31 to Feb. 2 at 7:30 p.m. with discount matinees on Jan. 26 and Feb. 2 at 2 p.m.

All shows are at the MEI Auditorium, 4081 Clearbrook Road.

Tickets can be purchased at House of James, 2743 Emerson Street, Abbotsford or by calling 604-852-3701. To order tickets online, or for more information on the show or Gallery 7 Theatre’s 2012/2013 theatre season, please visit their website at www.gallery7theatre.com.

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