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Oscar Wilde classic updated in family friendly Fringe show

July 6th, 2011 · No Comments

Actors Lucas Meeuse (Oscar) and Jody Osmond (Constance) brace for the giant's arrival. Photo courtesy Peter Frenton

By Reem Jazar

Upcoming Fringe play The Giant’s Garden, starring Annex resident Lucas Meuse, is bringing good old fashioned family fun back to the stage along with a couple musical numbers.

Writers Scott White and Peter Fenton say they were aiming to write a story that the whole family can relate to. Fenton said they were inspired by Oscar Wilde’s The Selfish Giant and wanted to write an adaptation that focused on the core values demonstrated in the classic tale.

“The Selfish Giant is a pretty religious story,” said Fenton. “We wanted to sort of steer away from that and focus on more on the theme of selfishness and replacing selfishness with sharing and friendship and caring for one another.”

Meuse said what drew him to the script and the lead role of Oscar was the moral behind the story and how relatable the story was. “There’s something in it for everyone,” said Meuse. “People of all ages will be able to relate to this story.”

“There are a lot of things adults will able to identify with as well in this story,” said White. “There are sisters who haven’t spoken to each other in years and I feel that is something that a lot of adults can understand.” Fenton said he and White also wanted to tell this kind of story because of the way they viewed the youth of today. “These days kids have a lot more at a younger age,” said Fenton.

“There’s a lot of sacrifice in this story. What I love is that it is about how far you will go for friendship and I don’t think that is a story that is being told very much these days.”

This will not be the first time The Giant’s Garden will be hitting the stage. The show premiered in Orangeville in 2007. White said opening night in Orangeville was a rather emotional time for him.

The Giant’s Garden is dedicated to White’s mother who passed away while he was still working on the play. “She would tell me I couldn’t cut songs when we were trying to finalize the show,” said White. “A lot of family members came to the opening night and there were literally puddles from all the tears.”

The show runs from July 6 to 16 at the Toronto Fringe festival. Tickets are already on sale and the cast will be performing a total of seven shows at the George Ignatieff Theatre (15 Devonshire Place).

Tags: Arts