Where Angels Fear to Tread @ The Guild Theatre
The next production at The Guild Theatre is Where Angels Fear To Tread, an adaptation (by Elizabeth Hart) of E. M. Forster’s famous novel directed by Jim Searle.
It is the Edwardian era. Recently deceased Lilia Herriton has had a tragic life. After her first husband died young, she fell in love with an Italian man named Gino (played by Douglas Spafford). Lilia’s uptight English in-laws entirely disproved of the match, but she married Gino regardless and left her young daughter Irma (Kassandra Micallef) in the care of her overbearing mother-in-law, Mrs. Herriton (Yolanda Reguiera). Lilia becomes pregnant and dies after giving birth.
The play opens shortly before Mrs. Herriton’s other children, Harriet and Phillip (played by Lani Crooks and Tye Byrnes), travel to Italy to retrieve Lilia’s baby. When they arrive in Italy, Harriet and Phillip stay in a hotel run by Signora Aletti (Jazz Nijjar), a colourful character who adores the opera and dresses up to the nines to attend a visiting opera performance. The local cab driver (Allen Simmons), who ferries the English visitors around the town, is also an avid opera fan.
Harriet and Phillip meet Lilia’s friend Caroline (Jessica Wake), who wants to adopt the baby in her friend’s memory. They also find the baby’s loving father Gino (Douglas Spafford), a man who is fully aware of his responsibilities and more than capable of dealing with their clumsy attempts to gain custody of his son. Perfetta (played by Yolanda Reguiera), a distant cousin to Gino, is his rather reluctant housekeeper and nanny to the baby.
Where Angels Fear To Tread will be directed by Jim Searle. Jim has directed over twenty plays at the Guild Theatre since 1967. His most recent production was Silent Night, Lonely Night in 2018. A qualified architect, Jim has also designed approximately 100 sets for the Guild! Jim most enjoys designing sets with some historical references and challenges; for instance, one of the sets in Where Angels Fear To Tread is a 15th century Italian palazzo that has been converted to a 19th century 3-star hotel. Jim jokes that in designing such sets, he “feels like Brunelleschi inventing the Renaissance”!
Douglas Spafford has kept busy since he last performed on the Guild stage as Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2018; Where Angels Fear To Tread will be Douglas’ fourth production of 2019! He is looking forward to mastering the Italian accent while not taking the easy stereotypical route.
Established Guild actress Yolanda Reguiera last appeared at the Guild in The Rose Tattoo in 2017. She says that she is looking forward to the challenge of playing Mrs Herriton, a complex character and the true definition of a matriarch.
Coincidentally, this will be the second performance at the Guild for both Tye Byrnes and Lani Crooks (who are playing the siblings, Phillip and Harriet). They last appeared in Daylight Savings and Silent Night, Lonely Night, respectively.
This is Jessica Wake’s debut performance The Guild. However, she has a wealth of experience from her time at Brisbane Arts Theatre and recently obtained a certificate in screen acting from Sydney Theatre School. Allen Simmons and ten-year-old Kassandra Micallef will also tread the Guild boards for the first time. In contrast, Guild veteran Jazz Nijjar is celebrating her 10th year as a member of the Guild Theatre.
English reserve and righteousness encounter Italian passion in this excellent moving drama not to be missed!
What: Where Angles Fear To Tread
When: 9 – 31 August 2019
Where: Guild Theatre
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