Sheep No Wool Theatre Company
The Edward Bond Festival
June 12th - 20th, 2012
June 12th - 20th, 2012
In June 2012, Sheep No Wool brought world-renowned master playwright Edward Bond to Toronto for a festival celebrating his 50th anniversary as a playwright. We are a small indie company with no infrastructure who created a one-time festival for one of the world’s most acclaimed independent artistic spirits.
The festival took place in Toronto and other locations across Southern Ontario from June 12-20th. The festival consisted of eleven encounters featuring over fifty Canadian theatre artists and twelve theatre companies in ten days. In the spirit of Bond’s work we kept ticket prices affordable to ensure the participation of youth, and to make engagement for individuals at multiple events, possible.
The festival was made up of eleven encounters: six workshop readings of Bond’s works, a workshop presentation of Bond’s play Have I None with the collaboration of Bond himself before a live audience, a Symposium featuring Edward Bond and UK director Chris Cooper, and an acclaimed Ryerson Theatre School remount production of Bond’s epic play The Bundle. The festival culminated with The Wrecking Ball #13, Toronto’s political theatre cabaret.
The focus of the Edward Bond Festival was two-fold: the investigation of the evolution of Bond’s vision of drama with a special focus on the Chair Plays: Have I None, Chair, and The Under Room. The second focus was an investigation of ‘post-Stanislavsky’ methodologies for interpreting and staging raw, spare, poetic texts.
Edward Bond is one of the most important and prolific post-war playwrights. The Royal Court Theatre staged Bond's Saved in 1965. The play created a national scandal, which was instrumental in the abolition of censorship of the English stage, and established Bond as a major British playwright. He has written more than 50 plays, including Lear, The Sea, Bingo, The Woman, Restoration, The War Plays and The Paris Pentad. Many of his plays have attained the status of radical classics. Bond's influence on young writers is prodigious. The Abbey Theatre (Dublin) described him as the most influential English dramatist of all times.
Bond's plays are an MRI for the human condition. His body of work takes us deep into our hearts, minds, imaginations and social identities. Powered by his raw spare poetry, Bond’s drama dissects society and reveals to us our fear, delusion, brutality, and blindness. And as the abuses of authority and our own maladies are exposed, we are invited to exercise our imaginations to envision new possibilities. In doing so we encounter the potential for justice and social transformation. Bond’s work is a radical celebration of humanity, drama and the potential of the imagination to address the ills that plague us.