/ The Changeling
By Thomas Middleton and William Rowley
Please note that there will be a talkback with the actors and designers of the play on Friday, February 28, following the performance.
The 2014 Graduating Class of the National Theatre School of Canada (NTS) is proud to present The Changeling, by Thomas Middleton and William Rowley, directed by David Latham, from February 25 to March 1, 2014, at the Ludger-Duvernay Theatre of the Monument-National. Considered a masterpiece, this rarely mounted Jacobean play is a story seething with murder and adultery.
“The Changeling is like Romeo and Juliet on the dark side,” says David Latham.
The lovely, but capricious Beatrice is promised by her mother to nobleman Alonzo de Piracquo. She however is enamoured with Alsemero. Beatrice conspires with De Florès, her mother’s servant, to kill Alonzo; in exchange, this ugly, yet strangely seductive man blackmails her into offering him her virginity. This launches a cascade of events driven by ruthless desire and obsession. A second plot runs in counterpoint to the first, in which the jealous doctor Alibius places his wife Isabella under house arrest; she finds comfort in the arms of the madmen from the asylum run by her husband. In all this cast of characters, who is really mad?
“Even if this play was written in the mid-seventeenth century, I liken it to a psychologically-driven Ibsen or Strindberg play. The characters appear on the surface to be one thing, but are psychologically quite different and driven to extremes,” explains David Latham.
The Changeling is also a very challenging play because, unlike Shakespeare, there is no lyricism in the text. Rather, it is crude and full of dark and violent imagery. That being said, David Latham’s direction does not hinge on shock value, a route chosen by some recent productions. He prefers that students find their way through the maze by relying almost solely on the language.
“David Latham is one of our finest directors of classical theatre. I am delighted to have him at the helm, leading the students to a visually and emotionally stunning production,” says Alisa Palmer, Artistic Director of the NTS’s English section.
About David Latham, Director
David Latham is a director, teacher, and actor who has worked in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the U.K., and the U.S. He is in his 14th season as Theatre Training Consultant at Stratford Festival, where his recent directing credits include Othello, Cymbeline, Agamemnon, and The Two Noble Kinsmen. For the Birmingham Conservatory (Stratford), where he was Associate Artist for seven seasons, he has directed The Winter’s Tale, King Lear, Macbeth, Richard III, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It, and Love’s Labour’s Lost. He presently oversees the Michael Langham Workshop for Classical Direction at the Birmingham Conservatory.
In Canada, David Latham's work has been seen at the Centaur, The Globe, The Vancouver Playhouse, Studio 58 (Vancouver), Alberta Theatre Projects, the Canadian Stage Company, and the Manitoba Theatre Centre. For the NTS, he has directed A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Love For Love, Richard III, Twelfth Night, The Cherry Orchard and Women Beware Women.
Design / Production Team
2014 Graduating Actors
Alexander De Jordy