Arts Club opens new Stanley Theatre season with Black Comedy

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The Arts Club Theatre Company opens its Stanley Theatre 2009/2010 season with Black Comedy by Peter Shaffer, September 10th through October 11th.

Struggling artist Brindsley (Charlie Gallant) wants to impress his fiancée’s (Julie McIsaac) visiting father (Simon Bradbury), so he dim-wittedly breaks into a neighbour’s flat and “borrows” the fancy furniture. But just as the last antique is set in place, a fuse blows and the lights go out! A litany of unexpected guests and mistaken identities throw the evening into chaos—but the darkness also sheds hilarious light on everyone’s true character. Black Comedy is just that. Dark and on the edge, it’s British farce at its finest, as the action moves from one hilariously awful and painfully funny coincidence to the next.

Peter Shaffer is one of England’s most popular and respected playwrights. His work was equally successful in the United States, where he lived for most of his career. Shaffer’s most famous works include The Five Finger Exercise; The Royal Hunt of the Sun; Black Comedy; Equus; Amadeus; and Lettice and Lovage. Amadeus won wide-spread acclaim as an Oscar-winning movie in 1984 and Equus was recently staged in London and on Broadway starring Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter fame.

Directed by Dean Paul Gibson, one of Canada’s best and most sought after directors, Black Comedy will be accompanied by the short curtain-warmer, the hilarious A Marriage Proposal by Anton Chekhov.

Gibson says, “A Marriage Proposal brilliantly parallels Black Comedy in both theme and comedic style. Not unlike Peter Shaffer, Chekhov was known for his more dramatic inspirations, so it’s really interesting that these two great playwrights decided to explore their comedic flair and both were wonderfully successful with it. I’m excited for audiences to see how we’ve linked these shows together to create an overall concept that fits both of these comedies from two legendary writers.”

Black Comedy

In addition to a Jessie award-winning design team, Gibson has assembled some of the most versatile (and acrobatic) actors in the country to bring the hi-jinks and hilarity roaring to life.

Arts Club Theatre Company presents Black Comedy at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage (2750 Granville St., at 12th Ave.) from September 10 to October 11, 2009.

Tuesday at 7:30 pm, Wednesday–Saturday at 8 pm, and Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2 pm.

Tickets are $25, $40, and $59, inclusive of all tax and fees. Call the Arts Club Box Office at 604.687.1644 or visit

Photo: Charlie Gallant and Simon Bradbury in the Arts Club Theatre Company’s production of Black Comedy. Photo by David Cooper.



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