Ensemble Theatre Company's 4th Annual Repertory Festival gets serious for the summer. Photo by Thorsten Gohl.
Ensemble Theatre Company's 4th Annual Repertory Festival gets serious for the summer. Photo by Thorsten Gohl.

The 4th annual Ensemble Theatre Festival gets underway next week. Here are five reasons you should go:

[dropcap]1[/dropcap] The festival presents an ambitious program of three shows playing in repertory through the summer.

[dropcap]2[/dropcap] This is a great  opportunity for those looking for some meat to their summer theatre.  While the hair bands of the 1980s are being celebrated on Granville Island, over at the Jericho Arts Centre the fare is decidedly more serious.

[dropcap]3[/dropcap] The morally questioning and violent drama, The Romans in Britain, was written as an indictment on Britain’s military involvement in Northern Ireland. It draws parallels with the war on terrorism and current foreign policy in the US. Notorious for the first male rape scene presented on stage, it spurred a sensational legal case in England when it premiered in 1980.

[dropcap]4[/dropcap] The Country Wife is a 17th century classic packed with witty dialogue, innuendo, and idiotic schemes; it is a bawdy comedy skewering class, caste and cash—commentary that remains relevant to contemporary audiences.

[dropcap]5[/dropcap] Pinter’s autobiographical play, Betrayal, charts seven years of an adulterous relationship between a wife and her husband’s best friend, told in reverse—exposing flawed behaviour by all sides as well as the pain and loss of love and deception.

The Ensemble Theatre Company 4th Annual Repertory Festival runs July 14 to August 20 at the Jericho Arts Centre in Vancouver. Visit http://ensembletheatrecompany.ca for tickets and information.