Jennifer Dzialoszynski as Vivie (left) gets an earful from Nicole Underhay’s Mrs. Warren in the Shaw Festival Presentation of Mrs. Warren’s Profession on stage at the Royal George Theatre until October 23, 2016.


The take away from Mrs. Warren’s Profession is simple: In a world of stark moral hypocrisy and ethical ambiguity, don’t believe everything you hear especially when poverty, prostitution, and profit are more dominant now than ever before.

With that said, there’s little not to savour in Bernard Shaw’s controversial ‘secrets and lies’ tale that was such an offensive offering that it wasn’t performed for 8 years after he wrote it and, when it did make its debut 1902, it closed after just one performance. That’s right, Bernie’s up to his old tricks once again with his innate flare for challenging the status quo and making audiences reconsider everything they were taught to opine.

The biggest challenge is getting by Act I which introduces the characters and sets up all that spills from the script when you return from intermission. Director Eda Holmes keeps the show at a steady pace so not to step on the melodramatic landmines that the story can’t avoid.

But by Act II, get ready for an ethos freefall when the play begins to questions issues that most won’t touch with a 10 foot pole today. Sharp arguments and counter-arguments make this a story second to none.

Mrs. Warren’s Profession centres around a pampered daughter who finds out her pricey education and upbringing was paid for by her mother’s profitable brothels. The playwright also layers the story with the identity of her father, her indecisiveness to marry two potential love interests.

You’d think Nicole Underhay studied abrasive acting techniques throughout her career due to her accomplishments in the title role. She’s just that good. Jennifer Dzialoszynskigives a blissful performance as the Vivie. It’s a huge leap for the actress at this year’s festival yet all indicators suggest she’s going to fly high in the years to come.

This one’s a bit of a shocker, proceed with discretion.

Review by Steven Berketo


MRS WARREN’S PROFESSION by Bernard Shaw April 21 – October 16, 2016 ROYAL GEORGE THEATRE, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario TICKETS $25.00 – $117.00 1-800-511-7429 CAST Nicole Underhay, Jennifer Dzialososzynski, Wade Bogert-O’Brien, Thom Marriott, Gray Powell, Shawn Wright DIRECTOR Eda Holmes SET AND COSTUMES Patrick Clark LIGHTING Kimberly Purtell

No comments yet.