In this dual review of Vimy, by Governor General’s Award-winning playwright Vern Thiessen, Upper Canada College's Arts Booster Club and Angus Webb ’19 — whose first foray into acting was both a personal history lesson and a chance to immerse himself in a completely different world — offer their thoughts.
Congratulations to all the actors and everyone who contributed to the Upper Canada College/The Bishop Strachan School co-production of Vimy on Nov. 23 through 25 in the lecture theatre. Every detail was thoughtfully considered for this production both inside and outside the theatre, from the reception area decorated with old posters of Canadians who fought in Vimy to the intimate stage of four hospital beds set against the sounds of battle. Costumes were so well done; one understands that, in those conditions, a pair of shoes two sizes too big is part of the deal.
Most impressive was the cast whose wonderful performance made it hard to hold back tears. The history of Vimy, narrated by each individual, is the history of Canada; it’s a country of different cultures with something in common — their love for their land. This play was a must-see, not only for students but also for parents.
-Arts Booster Club
Going into my first play, I didn’t know what to expect. Most cast members were new to acting, too. With the help of the two returning actors and director, Ms. Macdonell, over eight diligent weeks we learned much about both the art of theatre, and the Battle of Vimy Ridge. I remember studying the event in Year 9 Canadian history and heard stories of my great-grandfather as a highlander at Vimy, but never had I understood how the soldiers felt during and in the days leading up to the famous battle. Playing soldiers and a nurse, in Vern Thiessen’s Vimy, showed us all the different Canadian perspectives of the war. We all felt very pleased with the play’s reception. It was wonderful to be part of a significant Canadian play for the UCC/BSS fall production.