This London Life opens the 2019/2020 Season on the Spriet Stage

A Grand Theatre Production
World Premiere

This London Life

Written and Directed by Morris Panych

Opening the 19/20 Season on the Spriet Stage
October 15 – November 2


LONDON, ONTARIO, OCTOBER 9, 2019
Anyone who hails from London, Ontario and has travelled anywhere in the world, has undoubtedly uttered the phrase, “no, not that London, the other one, in Canada.” With so many streets, locations, and landmarks sharing the same names, the confusion is understandable. Now, picture waking up in a stranger’s home after taking enough painkillers to numb a broken leg and survive a flight, thinking you are in your intended location of London, England, but actually having arrived in London, Ontario. The people you meet talk of the places you know, but they seem to be different somehow. And there you have the premise for the world premiere comedy, THIS LONDON LIFE, coming to the Grand Theatre this October. Canadian playwright and director Morris Panych, has taken a comedic look at the similarities and differences between the two Londons, and his work is set to be the funniest play to hit the Grand’s Spriet Stage in the past few years. For those who enjoy the endless laughs from an episode of Seinfeld or Modern Family, the play will definitely be on the list of must-see productions during the 2019/2020 season.

THIS LONDON LIFE “tells the story of two Londons, parodying their many similarities—and their differences,” describes Artistic Director Dennis Garnhum.  “A major thread throughout my career has been a focus on developing new work. This season, I am so proud that we are staging a number of new works under our COMPASS New Play Development program, which allows us to reflect upon our city and its people – to show who we are and who we want to be. To launch the season with this production from the creative genius mind that is Morris Panych, is truly a gift to Londoners. I invite everyone to come in and laugh along with us!”

Throughout the run, the Grand will host neighbourhood parties on select performance dates beginning with a special Old East Village (OEV) performance on Tuesday, October 15, saluting the community that came together in the wake of the Woodman Avenue explosion and its aftermath.

The Grand will also feature local musicians in its lobby spaces at select performances, showcasing the extraordinary talent that can be found in “this” London’s music scene.

After a successful run of BLIND DATE at the Grand in the 2017-28 Season, and most recently at the prestigious 2019 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Rebecca Northan returns to the Grand as the morally questionable Mrs. Simpson. Making his Grand Theatre debut is Ryan Shaw, a young elementary student from Petrolia, Ontario.  Allister MacDonald plays Jimmy, a man who arrives in “this” London, but is under the impression he is in “that” London. And also joining the cast are Wendy Thatcher as Nan (Grand Theatre, SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER), Cynthia Jimenez-Hicks (Citadel Theatre, THE CANDIDATE) who is making her Grand debut, and Braeden Soltys (Grand Theatre, TIMOTHY FINDLEY’S THE WARS). THIS LONDON LIFE launches the 19/20 season on the Spriet Stage, and runs from October 15 to November 2. The Title Sponsor for THIS LONDON LIFE is BlueStone Properties, and was developed under the COMPASS New Play Development program with the support of Tourism London.

The Grand Theatre gratefully acknowledges its Season Sponsor - BMO Financial Group.

ENHANCE YOUR EXPERIENCE

The Wednesday Speak Easy
Returning to the Grand this season is the Wednesday Speak Easy series. Following each Wednesday performance on the Spriet and McManus Stages, patrons can extend their theatre experience and get closer to the artists with exclusive talks, casual conversations, and spontaneous happenings in the relaxed atmosphere of the Poster Lounge or the McManus Lounge.

Our Wednesday Speak Easy series will kick-off with THIS LONDON LIFE on October 16, and will have two additional Wednesday Speak Easy event dates for patrons to enjoy on October 23 and 30.

Pre-Show Reaney Talks
Join host James Stewart Reaney at select Wednesday matinees, as he sparks creative conversations about the production. The talk for THIS LONDON LIFE will be held Wednesday, October, 30 at 12pm.

About the Grand Theatre – World Curious. London Proud.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Dennis Garnhum and Executive Director Deb Harvey, the Grand is a leading cultural hub located in the heart of downtown London, Ontario. The Grand offers diverse, relevant, and original stories from around the globe through collaborations with national and international performing arts organizations, and is committed to developing, producing, and premiering original stories through COMPASS New Play Development program. The Grand supports educational programming with The High School Project, the only program of its kind in North America, and 100 Schools, a community initiative that brings professional theatre to London-area schools at no cost. The Grand’s season runs from September to May.

Tickets are available at grandtheatre.com, by phone at 519.672.8800, or at the Box Office, 471 Richmond Street.

THIS LONDON LIFE MEDIA CALL

When: Tuesday, October 15 at 1:00pm (cameras, please arrive at 12:45 to set up)
Where: Grand Theatre, Spriet Stage, 471 Richmond Street
What: THS LONDON LIFE photo, video, and interview opportunities for media
RSVP: To jmatthews [at] grandtheatre [dot] com

For more information, including guest artists’ bios, please contact:

Jennifer Matthews, Communications Manager, Grand Theatre
jmatthews [at] grandtheatre [dot] com
519.672.9030 ext. 411

THIS LONDON LIFE

By Morris Panych
October 15 to November 2, 2019

CAST

RAE-ANN  Cynthia Jimenez-Hicks
JIMMY Allister MacDonald
MRS. SIMPSON Rebecca Northan
WALTER WINCH  Ryan Shaw
EMERY  Braeden Soltys
NAN Wendy Thatcher

Production  TEAM

DIRECTOR Morris Panych
SET & COSTUME DESIGNER Ken MacDonald
LIGHTING DESIGNER Kim Purtell
SOUND DESIGNER & COMPOSER Keith Thomas
STAGE MANAGER Suzanne McArthur
ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER Sandi Becker
APPRENTICE STAGE MANAGER Darius Hahn
CHILD SUPERVISOR  Linda Martin
CHILD SUPERVISOR Chrystine Robinson
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Location

471 Richmond St.

London, ON N6A 3E4