This image promotes Naked Stage readers theatre company’s production of “The Fighting Days” on the website nspsociety.com.

This image promotes Naked Stage readers theatre company’s production of “The Fighting Days” on the website nspsociety.com.

‘The Fighting Days’ for Surrey’s Naked Stage in return to in-person plays in Newton

For ‘readers theatre’ shows, four actors at Newton Cultural Centre from Nov. 12-14

A play called “The Fighting Days” marks a return to in-person performances by Surrey’s Naked Stage readers theatre company.

Set in Winnipeg during the years 1910 to 1917, Wendy Lill’s script focuses on the life and work of Francis Marion Beynon, a journalist and political activist.

Simon Challenger directs four actors, namely Sargun Gill (as Francis Beynon), Nancy Painter (Nellie McClung), Thuja Quickstad (Lily Beynon) and Paul Ferancik (McNair).

They’ll hit the stage three times at Newton Cultural Centre from Nov. 12-14, in the company’s season-opener for 2021-22.

“‘The Fighting Days’ focuses on a young woman, Francis, as she is introduced to the suffrage movement through her sister’s friendship with Nellie McClung, one of this country’s most recognized figures in the struggle to achieve the vote,” Challenger explains.

“As with any cause, there is a mix of pragmatists and idealists. Often the greatest conflict lies in reconciling the differences between the two. Francis learns that idols are not always what they seem and that even those we place on pedestals conceal uncomfortable truths. Idealism comes at a cost, as she learns.”

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In the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century, groups of activists began pressing to achieve the vote for women and other excluded groups. Suffragettes, as they were commonly called, staged rallies, marches and began exerting political pressure to attain support among the general public for the right to vote for women.

As with all Naked Stage productions, “The Fighting Days” will be performed with only scripts and chairs for the actors – no costumes or sets, only a lit “naked” stage.

The company launched in Surrey five years ago, in the summer of 2016, and has staged online-only productions during the pandemic.

• RELATED STORY, from 2020: Surrey’s Naked Stage aims to grow audience as COVID forces shows online.

“At Naked Stage we are so excited that we will be able to get safely back into the theatre to offer live programming,” the company said in a e-newsletter.

“For everyone’s protection we are limiting capacity and will only allow fully vaccinated theatre-goers into the theatre, which will be checked upon entry. We want to ensure that live theatre can continue to be enjoyed for the entire season.”

More show details are posted on the company’s website, nspsociety.com.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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