Ladies of the Camellias opens for a three-week run April 21, at Ladysmith Little Theatre. (Ladysmith Little Theatre)

Ladies of the Camellias opens for a three-week run April 21, at Ladysmith Little Theatre. (Ladysmith Little Theatre)

Camellias finally set to bloom on Ladysmith stage

Ladysmith Little Theatre set stage period farce originally set to open two years ago

After two years without a regular audience, the Camellias are finally in bloom in Ladysmith.

COVID-19 restrictions behind them, Ladysmith Little Theatre is able to safely open the doors to full capacity audiences next week with a long-planned performance of Ladies of the Camellias.

Accordig to a media release, when the theatre closed in March 2020, its ensemble cast was well into rehearsal for Camellias, expected to be the 2019-2020 final production of the season.

Fast forward two years later and after many, many months of ZOOM rehearsals, the Ladysmith troupe is proud and excited to present this period farce, directed by Charles Harman.

The play is a Lillian Groag comedy about a strange encounter between two famous actresses set to perform Alexandre Dumas’ “The Lady of the Camellias” at the end of the 19th century.

“A juicy Tour de Farce on theatre, theatrical people and the conflicts between art and politics,” is how the Little Theatre promotional material describes it.

“In 1897, two different actresses, Sarah Bernhardt and Eleonora Duse, were both to perform The Lady of the Camellia in Paris in the same week and at the same theatre. Alexandre Dumas, fils, the French author who wrote the play, has particular complaints about both of their performances.

“Their respective co-stars, Gustave-Hippolite Worms and Flavio Ando, are caught in the actresses’ melodrama and competition. However, a Russian anarchist named Ivan decides to take the two actresses hostage and threatens to blow up the theater if two of his comrades are not released from prison.”

It stars Brenda Clarke as Duse and Susan Warner as Bernhardt, with Inge Cathers, Mike Deitrich, Ken Hiebert, Gord McInnis, Tamara Meierhofer, Mort Paul and Michael Robinson rounding out the cast.

The run has 12 performances over three weekends, opening on Thursday, April 21, with the final performance on Sunday, May 8, 2022. Showtimes are Thursday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday Matinees at 2 p.m.

Tickets available on line at www.ladysmiththeatre.com.

Box Office is open Wednesday and Friday, 1-3 p.m. Telephone 250-924-0658.