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Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Brian Bedford withdraws from Misanthrope for medical reasons

Brian Bedford

July 4, 2011… The Stratford Shakespeare Festival regrets to announce that Brian Bedford has been forced to withdraw from the 2011 season for medical reasons. Mr. Bedford was to have played Oronte in The Misanthrope.

“Brian’s condition is treatable, and it is expected that he will make a full recovery,” said Artistic Director Des McAnuff. “However, it does require immediate medical attention, which means he will not be able to take part in The Misanthrope.
“I know this is a huge disappointment to Brian, as it is to all of us here, but we look forward to his return to our stages in future seasons. In the meantime, we send him our very best wishes for a speedy recovery.”

“We’re very sorry to hear of this health challenge for Brian, who is not only an immensely gifted colleague but also a dear friend,” said General Director Antoni Cimolino. “As much as we will all miss him this season, it is vitally important that he address this issue immediately, so we can go on enjoying his work and his company for many years to come.”

Mr. Bedford has just completed an enormously successful Broadway run of The Importance of Being Earnest, which he originally directed for the Festival’s 2009 season. He was nominated for a Tony Award for his portrayal of Lady Bracknell in the production.

Peter Hutt will assume the role of Oronte. He is also playing Muley Graves and the Contractor in The Grapes of Wrath. In 12 seasons at Stratford, Mr. Hutt has played a number of leading roles, including Alonso in last season’s acclaimed production of The Tempest, with Christopher Plummer. In addition to 20 seasons at the Shaw Festival, Mr. Hutt has performed across Canada and has done extensive work in film and television.

“Peter and I both went to Ryerson and he was always my favourite actor in the class. It is gratifying that we have an actor with such pedigree and of such stature ready to step into the role. I think it speaks volumes about the strength of our current acting company,” says Mr. McAnuff.

The Misanthrope, directed by David Grindley, begins previews on July 31. It opens officially on August 12 and runs to October 29, featuring Ben Carlson as Alceste, Juan Chioran as Philinte and Sara Topham as Célimène.

The Stratford Shakespeare Festival’s 2011 season runs until October 30, featuring The Merry Wives of Windsor, Camelot, Twelfth Night, The Misanthrope, The Grapes of Wrath, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Homecoming, Richard III, Titus Andronicus, Shakespeare’s Will, The Little Years and Hosanna.


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