July 25, 2012…Christopher Plummer, one of theatre’s greatest classical actors, takes us on an autobiographical journey through the literature that has stirred his imagination since youth. The one-man show, which is directed by Artistic Director Des McAnuff, begins previews at the Avon Theatre on July 25.
Written, arranged and performed by Mr. Plummer, A Word or Two is a deeply personal work that focuses on the actor’s love of literature and how it has shaped his life.
“The purpose of A Word or Two is simply to celebrate language which seems to be fast vanishing from our midst,” says Mr. Plummer. “It is very much a personal stroll through literature, a literature that has long stirred my imagination and that, for one reason or another, I cannot let go. The poetry and prose I have chosen to accompany my journey is both silly and sad, sacred and profane; ranging from A.A. Milne to the Bible; Shaw and Wilde to Coleridge and Marlowe; W.H. Auden and Nabokov to Rostand and MacLeish; Shakespeare and Byron to Nash and Leacock. It is intended not just to show the myriad of colours words can paint, but to illuminate along the way the several phases of my particular moon.”
Mr. Plummer, who this year won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for his performance in the film Beginners, is one of the Festival’s most lauded alumni. This production will be the third collaboration between Mr. Plummer and Mr. McAnuff at the Festival; their first two projects, Caesar and Cleopatra, in which Mr. Plummer played Julius Caesar, and The Tempest, in which he played Prospero, have also been captured on film for cinematic release.
“I love working and spending time with Chris. He’s a great collaborator. We have a very free-wheeling kind of creative relationship, and so it’s always a great charge to work with him,” says Mr. McAnuff.
“There’s a tremendous intimacy with this piece. I think he is going to make each member of the audience feel like he’s talking only to them. I hope it stokes the audience’s appetite for great literature, inspiring them to read and, obviously, to continue to go to the theatre to listen to great actors delivering extraordinary words.”
“Christopher Plummer is one of this country’s greatest theatrical treasures and our audiences are always eager to see him on the stage,” says General Director Antoni Cimolino. “But this production is particularly special because it offers a rare opportunity to glimpse the man himself. It will be an unforgettable and exhilarating experience to witness this deeply personal and affectionate love letter to the writers that have inspired and helped to make him the artist he is today.”
The artistic team for this production includes Set Designer Robert Brill, Lighting Designer Michael Walton, Composer Michael Roth, Video Designer Sean Nieuwenhuis, Sound Designer Peter McBoyle and Costume Consultant Paul Tazewell.
A Word or Two is sponsored by OLG.
Support for the 2012 season of the Avon Theatre is generously provided by The Birmingham Family. Production support is graciously provided by Nona Macdonald Heaslip and John H. Whiteside.
This year, the Stratford Shakespeare Festival celebrates its 60th season, with 14 productions presented from April 12 to October 28: Much Ado About Nothing; 42nd Street; The Matchmaker; Henry V; You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown; The Pirates of Penzance; A Word or Two; Cymbeline; Wanderlust; Elektra; The Best Brothers; Hirsch; and The War of 1812. MacHomer, has concluded its run.