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An Ideal Husband is an ideal Oakville Centre play

Burloak Theatre Group
Burloak Theatre Group

Oh, what an ideal play and production it is!

For the first play of 2023, Burloak Theatre Group's (BOTG) production of Oscar Wilde's classic comedy An Ideal Husband is now on stage at the Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts.

Despite being a nearly 130-year-old play, BOTG has been working tirelessly over the last four months to bring the story to life with the same lavish glamour and sparkling wit that has helped sustain the show's popularity since its 1895 London premiere.

Oakville's new version features a 16-person cast and an even larger crew who've replicated late 19th century England with its gorgeous set and costumes that make the Wilde's famous humour shine on stage.

Director and set designer Angie Fyke says her favourite part is always, "seeing the vision coming together."

"When I start working on the play, I have a mental movie imaging what it looks like," she describes. "I see the costumes, the cast and the set as I'm reading. Seeing it come to fruition on the stage is awesome. It's just awesome."

This is her sixth production at the Oakville Centre and fifth with BOTG, her last being 2020's female version of Neil Simon's The Odd Couple, BOTG's last show before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fyke says having a smaller crew size meant the team needed to be more resourceful in planning the show, but she's grateful for the work of her team and cast: "I needed to understand what each person required from me in order to bring what’s best to the show."

Burloak Theatre Group
Burloak Theatre Group

Leading the play as Sir Robert Chiltern and Lord Goring are, respectively, seasoned actors Mark Ellis and Rikki Wright.

"It’s been great to share a stage with so many actors at the same time, both in rehearsal and performance," says Ellis. Even though he stars as Robert, he loves working with his fellow actors.

"It’s a large cast," he continues, "and the opportunities to perform a play these days, especially post-COVID with so many souls is quite rare."

Wright also enjoys the teamwork, citing his experience with members of the cast from previous productions: "I love working with these people, many of whom I've worked with in the past in different capacities."

"The play itself is a timeless classic," says Wright. "It has a little bit of everything - comedy, drama, mystery, intrigue. And it has the quality of a Stratford or Shaw production at a fraction of the price and being much closer to home."

Ellis adds, "It’s January. It’s been a dull, dark month. We need some laughter and brightness and this show brings it all. It's an engaging and escapist evening of entertainment."

Needless to say, the play makes for an ideal night at the theatre, filled with romance, humour and heart. It's thrilling way to see a world-famous play done by a talented group of local artists.

An Ideal Husband is the second show of BOTG's 2022/23 subscription season, following October's Last of the Red Hot Lovers and ahead of this April's musical smash Cabaret.

An Ideal Husband

by Oscar Wilde

Now playing at the Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts until January 22, 2023.

More information about the play and tickets are available online here.

Burloak Theatre Group
Burloak Theatre Group

Editor's note: while this story is not sponsored by Burloak Theatre Group or the Oakville Centre, the author of this story is affiliated with the group and contributed to the production on a volunteer basis.


Tyler Collins

About the Author: Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins is the editor for Oakville News. Originally from Campbellton, New Brunswick, he's lived in Oakville more than 20 years. Tyler is a proud Sheridan College graduate of both Journalism and Performing Arts.
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