Just in case there are people in St. Thomas and the surrounding area who are not aware of what a treasure is in their midst, I want to make a comment about the Elgin Theatre Guild. On Friday I went to see their latest offering — To Forgive, Divine — and found it to be excellent.
The play is about a Catholic priest and how he relates to his parishioners, the struggles he faces, and the sometimes difficult situations he has to handle.
The five actors, Emily Beaton, Marilyn Baron, David Bogaert, Charlene Hanson and Allan Leitch, under the direction of Cliff Baron, delivered finely honed individual performances as well as inter-relating to each other in a magical way on stage. The outstanding script by Jack Neary had some of everything you want in a play — humour, pathos, tension, a good story with a satisfying conclusion.
I have been a theatre reviewer for Scene Magazine in London, for 14 years, and I see a lot of plays, from Stratford and Niagara-on-the-Lake, to Blyth and Huron Country Playhouse, and everything in between. I can honestly say that To Forgive, Divine by the Elgin Theatre Guild is as good as any professional production I have attended. Bravo!
This group is about to conclude its 35th year of operation, and the playbill for the next season starting in October is already out. I would advise everybody, whether they usually attend plays or not, to make a point of going to see something by this troupe, at the Princess Avenue Playhouse.