Celebrating!: Twenty-Five Years on the Stage at the Shaw Festival


64 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 0-919783-48-1





Edited by Katherine Holmes
Reviewed by Renate Usmiani

Renate Usmiani was Professor of English at Mount St. Vincent University in Halifax.


This slim, glossy pictorial documentary indeed conveys the sense of “celebration” indicated by the title. Introduced by artistic director Christopher Newton, itprovides a history of the Festival’s first twenty-five years; some information on landmark productions and special guests, such as H.M. The Queen; a complete production calendar; and a full listing of members of the company. The heart and soul of the book, however, lie in its illustrations, all excellent, some breathtaking. Of the 16 full-color photographs sprinkled through the book, several deserve special mention: Herb Foster as Bernard Shaw, (1982); Kate Reid and Janet Amos as, respectively, Rummy Mitchens and Barbara Undershaft (1978); Jackie Burroughs in Blythe Spirit (1979). The one fault one could find with this otherwise delightful volume is the absence of a sense of stage setting. The illustrations concentrate almost exclusively on the actors, with few exceptions, such as the sparkling color photograph of the 1984 production of Wilder’s By The Skin Of Our Teeth.

For aficionados of the Shaw Festival, this 25-year memorial volume will provide much pleasure and much nostalgia; to those as yet uninitiated, itmay give that extra urge to become part of the celebration, too.


“Celebrating!: Twenty-Five Years on the Stage at the Shaw Festival,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 23, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/34935.