So, first and foremost…how was your festive, holiday season? Did you enjoy it? Did you over-indulge? Are you regretting that last slice of pecan pie? Whether you have the January blues or not, there’s no reason to be cooped up inside, when a whole world of new shows and theatrical adventures lie beyond your front door.
The best thing about live theatre is that it never sleeps. Yes, winter has arrived, but the fantastic performances that await you on stage, are the reason to get downtown. With the new year comes new ideas, new productions, new theatrics, fresh faces and new audiences. And there is one show on the horizon that cannot be missed.
Ever since I first attended the Alumnae Theatre, Toronto, I was blown away by the selection of enjoyable shows for all tastes and interests. This Toronto landmark is not only the longest running theatrical society in Toronto, but it is soon to hit its 100th Year Anniversary. So what better way to celebrate this important event, than to come along to its new season and fabulous lineup.
So what lies in store for us? Let me tell you. From January 20th until February 4th 2017, the cast and crew of THE GUT GIRLS will be making the Alumnae Theatre their home. Set in the early 1900’s, in the town of Deptford in South-East London (UK), The Gut Girls tell us the tale of the working-class women, who were employed within the gutting sheds of cattle markets across London.
Glamorous and highly sought after? These jobs were nothing of the sort. But the women who put their hand to this sector of society, had more character, work-ethic and pride than any other industry at the time. Their surprisingly high level of female independence, helped to create their own mini society, which they could call their own. One can only imagine the humorous, unforgettable characters that were formed within these sheds.
However, our story opens with the turn of the Late Victorian Era, and suddenly this industry is badly hit. With the gutting sheds starting to close their doors, each lady sees her only form of income disappear in the blink of an eye. What are they to do? Where are they to go? Yes, their strong work ethic and determination can not be faulted, but how do these independent, big, brash personalities fit into what is seen as a suitable replacement job.
Frightened about what is to become of them, they fall into the company of Lady Helena; a well-to-do socialite of London, who aims to turn these marginalized women into respectable ladies. But what is the catch? As each close friend is separated and sent into the “improved” life of a maid, they find themselves in a struggle with the need make this new life work, and their yearning of a return to the strong, true selves they once were.
Described as Surprisingly Funny and Hard-Hitting, this play written by British dramatist Sarah Daniels and directed by Maya Rabinovitch, is set to be a true crowd-pleaser this month. Originally premiered in the town of Deptford, London in 1988, the play was met with extremely, positive reviews and was commended on its beautiful and realistic storyline.
Starring in this production are the talented Kaya Bucholc, Sarah Thorpe, Alexandra Augustine, Tasia Loeffler-Vulpe, Nicole Arends, Mike Hogan and Brendan O’Reilly.
Also, new to the Toronto theatre scene, is actress Claire Keating, who I am looking forward to see. Not only is she a fellow native of the Emerald Isle but a fellow graduate of my university, UCD (University College Dublin).
If you; alongside me, cannot wait to see this wonderful production, then click HERE to purchase tickets online, in advance. Tickets can also be purchased with cash at the Theatre Box Office, which is located at the following address: Alumnae Theatre, 70 Berkeley Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5A 2W6.
THE GUT GIRLS will be running from January 20th until February 4th 2017, with performances from Wednesday through to Sunday.
If you wish to see a show that still resonates with people today, then this play is meant for you. The Gut Girls reminds the audience that sometimes independence, beauty and truth can be found in the most unusual places, and maybe…just maybe, the perfect life that others want for you, may be the one thing you do not need.
SPECIAL PRE-SHOW EVENT – Saturday, January 21 @ 6:45pm
Consider attending The Gut Girls on Sat Jan 21 @ 6:45pm in the Alumnae Lobby. Snacks! Stories! AND Theatre! Arrive at 6:45pm to hear Erin Rodgers, producer of the 2016 Storytelling Festival, as she leads a group of storytellers relating tales of women’s and workers’ rights prior to the 8pm performance. “I’ve always loved stories and tall tales. My family has always told stories and since childhood I’ve been drawn to people who can tell a good one. I’m also a performer and performers LOVE to tell each other stories and try to make each other laugh” says Rodgers.