The Arts

Toronto Masque Theatre – Henry Purcell and John Dryden’s King Arthur

Toronto Masque Theatre – Henry Purcell and John Dryden’s King Arthur featured image

reviewed by Paula Citron

King Arthur
Toronto Masque Theatre
Composed by Henry Purcell with text by John Dryden
Directed by Derek Boyes and Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière
Starring 25 actors, dancers and singers
At the MacMillan Theatre until Apr. 24

With its delightful production of King Arthur, Toronto Masque Theatre completes its goal of mounting all five of Purcell’s operas. Over the years it has been interesting to watch the company under artistic director Larry Beckwith find its footing. Masques involve all the arts, and Beckwith has found collaborators, specifically director Derek Boyes, period choreographer Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière and projection artist Caroline Guibault, to help him mount these huge entertainments.

King Arthur fields a cast of 25 actors, singers and dancers accompanied by a baroque ensemble. There is some awesome talent such as actors John Jarvis and Darren Keay, while the singing chorus boasts top-notch soloists like soprano Anne Grimm, tenor Keith Klassen and bass Giles Tomkins.

The production is musically sound which has always been the case. What is becoming more obvious is the ease which director Boyes moves the forces around the stage, while choreographer Lacoursière is becoming more diverse in her dance steps.

King Arthur continues at the MacMillan Theatre tonight.

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