All shows performed at Venables Theatre unless otherwise noted.
We are pleased to finally stage When the Wind Blows, by Raymond Briggs. Planning for this show began in 2019. It was originally scheduled for production in April 2021, before our season was fully cancelled by Covid.
Now, here we are in the spring of 2022, presenting an anti-war play that was first written almost 40 years ago, at the height of the Cold War, when nuclear disarmament protests were at their height throughout western democracies. Some of you may remember the annual Mother’s Day ban-the-bomb marches held throughout Canada. Now, 40 years later, we are witnessing a devastating invasion of Ukraine, along with rising tensions between “The West” and the Russian government, arguably at an unprecedented level. What can we make of a play that is centred on a nuclear attack by Russia in these uncertain and worrisome times? How can we respond?
Some of our patrons have suggested to us that current world events will turn this dark comedy into just something dark. But we take a different view. The threat of war, including nuclear war, was front and centre in our popular psyche in the 1980s. Anti-war protests were not uncommon. These worries and protests were the catalyst for Briggs to originally write When the Wind Blows. Now, as we contemplate the current world situation, we realize that not much has changed in 40 years. While the threat of war may have taken a back seat since the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989, and some say it was swept under the rug, we realize it has remained a real threat all along.
So, we present this show in its original form, with its original message: Can any population really be prepared for a nuclear conflict? Are there any winners? Is war an answer to our worldly problems? All world leaders must hear this message loud and clear and cannot be supported in their pursuit of military conquest! The people of Ukraine are the most recent, living, eyewitnesses to the horrors of war. We dedicate this show to them and to all other peoples suffering from the effects of invasion, civil war, terrorist insurrection and all armed conflict around the world, including Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Ethiopia and Palestine, to mention only a few.
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