Nora McLellan will star in a production of the Willy Russell comedy SHIRLEY VALENTINE. Shirley is a bored, lonely, working class Liverpool housewife. As she prepares dinner, she ponders her life and speaks aloud (though no one else is present) about her family, her past, and an invitation from a girlfriend to join her on holiday in Greece. Shirley secretly packs her bags, heads for the sun and begins to see the world and herself very differently. The production will run from 22 May to 10 June at the Victoria Playhouse in Petrolia, Ontario (about 30 kilometers southeast of Sarnia). Tickets are now on sale. A video of McLellan in rehearsal for the play is available on Vimeo. McLellan tweeted on 15 May that “Shirley Valentine opens with a song by @mariadkennedy and Kieran Kennedy!” Continue reading →
Allie MacDonald (Trina) has been cast as Kelly Bailey in MISFITS, a science fiction series inspired by the award winning British series that ran for five seasons in the UK on E4 (2009-2013). The show is about a group of young offenders sentenced to work in a community service programme, who gain supernatural powers after being struck by lightning. In the original series, Kelly is quick-tempered and violent, and the superpower she gains is telepathy. (In a sort of inverse wish fulfillment, the lightning strike gives each character the superpower they would least like to have.) All five seasons of the British series can be streamed on HULU.
Others cast in the reboot so far are Ashleigh LaThrop, Tre Hall, and Jake Cannavale. Diane Ruggiero (creator of iZombie) wrote the two-part pilot, which will be directed by Victoria Mahoney. If the series is picked up, it will air on Freeform Network (formerly ABC Family) later this year.
And MacDonald is Edie Soames in the six-episode CTV drama CARDINAL, an adaptation of Giles Blunt’s award-winning mystery novel Forty Words for Sorrow, which stars Billy Campbell as Detective John Cardinal and Karine Vanasse as his partner Lise Delorme. Other ORPHAN BLACK cast members who appear in the series are Trenna Keating, David Richmond Peck, and Andrew Moodie. CARDINAL can be streamed on HULU, and has been renewed for two more seasons.
Géza Kovács (The Messenger) will be Talbot in Michael Melski‘s supernatural thriller THE CHILD REMAINS in which an expectant couple’s intimate weekend turns to terror when they discover that the country inn where they’re staying is haunted because it was once a maternity home where unwanted infants and mothers had been murdered. The film was inspired by the true story of the ‘Butterbox Babies‘. Writer/director Melski told Sea and Be Scene: “I’m a huge fan of old-school horror movies like The Shining and Rosemary’s Baby, and this film is an homage to those creepy classics,”. Shot in Elmsdale and Windsor, Nova Scotia (some distance inland from East Chester, where the Butterbox Babies scandal took place), THE CHILD REMAINS will have its world premiere at the 2017 Shanghai International Film Festival.
James Frain (Ferdinand Chevalier) will be James Hooker in THE JESTER FROM TRANSYLVANIA, a fantasy about an American scriptwriter (played by Emmett J Scanlan) who picks up an English hitchhiker in the middle of a Transylvanian forest. The hitcher turns out to be Touchstone (Jordan Prentice), the ghost of a former court jester, who turns the pacifist screenwriter into a cold blooded serial killer. JESTER should be released later this year.
Frain will also be Dr. A in the spy thriller HEADLOCK, which stars Diana Argon as Mary, the wife of an injured CIA recruit. Herself a former CIA operative, Mary becomes determined to find out just how her husband (Mark Polish) sustained the injuries that left him in a coma. Producer Juan Pablo Reyes told Dave Rolland of the Miami New Times: “We shot the wife’s story for twelve days in Los Angeles, where the husband is in a coma and Andy Garcia plays an intense government agent as a character you’ve never seen him play before. Then we tell the husband’s story.” The husband’s part of the story was shot in twelve different countries. Reyes said he is hopeful that the film will screen in Miami this summer.
Melanie Nicholls-King (Sarah and Helena’s surrogate mother) is Lou in MARY GOES ROUND, a film written and directed by Molly McGlynn. Mary (Aya Cash), a closeted alcoholic and substance abuse counselor, is a few months away from getting married when she’s arrested for a DUI and loses both her job and her fiancé. She returns to her home town in New Jersey where she begins to take responsibility for herself and her family after learning that her estranged father is dying of cancer and is desperate for Mary to form a bond with her teenage half-sister. Filming of MARY GOES ROUND was completed last December. No word yet on a release date. A trailer is available on Vimeo.
Evelyne Brochu (Delphine Cormier) is Wendy in REMEMORY, a film about a well-known scientist named Gordon Dunn (Martin Donovan), who is mysteriously found dead just after unveiling his newest invention, a groundbreaking device able to extract, record and play back a person’s unfiltered memories. Dunn’s wife (Julia Ormond), with help from an unlikely friend (Peter Dinklage), uses the invention to get to the bottom of her husband’s death. REMEMORY will premiere 25 January at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.
Tatiana Maslany will appear at WIZARD WORLD in Portland, Oregon, 18 & 19 February. She will participate in a Q&A Panel, sign autographs, and pose for photos with fans. — THE OTHER HALF, a 2015 romance with Maslany and Tom Cullen, will be released in the US, both in theatres and on VOD, on 10 March.
Nora McLellan (Brenda, the woman bribed by Prometheans to betray Mrs. S.) will be Genevieve (the innkeeper’s best friend) in a Company Theatre production of JOHN, written by Pulitzer-winning playwright Annie Baker. The story involves a cheerful bed and breakfast owner, and a young couple struggling to stay together. Hilton Als, writing for The New Yorker in 2015, said: “While most new plays run for two hours or less…Baker’s fourth full-length original script clocks in at three hours and fifteen minutes, the running time of, say, a short, late-career Eugene O’Neill drama. By not rushing things…Baker returns us to the naturalistic but soulful theatre that many of her contemporaries and near-contemporaries have disavowed in their rush to be ‘postmodern’.” JOHN will be at Toronto’s Berkeley Street Theatre (upstairs) from 29 January until 19 February.
Trenna Keating (Vera the soccer mom from Season Three) is Kim Campbell in a Toronto production of THE DEATH OF MRS. GHANDI AND THE BEGINNING OF NEW PHYSICS, a satirical play by Kawa Ada about a meeting (which never happened) between some of the strongest female politicians of the past half century (Margaret Thatcher, Benazir Bhutto, and Imelda Marcos). The meeting occurs in 1984 at the funeral of Indira Ghandi. Playwright/director Ada looks at how these women wielded power and questions how they might have done so differently. THE DEATH OF MRS. GHANDI will be at Factory Theatre (128 Bathurst Street) until 15 January.
Allie MacDonald (Trina, the body-mod neolutionist) will portray Lillian Gish in THE FIRST, the life story of silent film star Mary Pickford, who co-founded the movie studio United Artists in 1919. The film is based on Eileen Whitfield‘s 1997 biography, “Pickford: The Woman Who Made Hollywood“, and directed by Jennifer DeLia, who told Indiewire: “[Pickford’s] journey of going from the ‘unsophisticated’ world of vaudeville to working with D.W. Griffith as he experimented with the language of cinema makes this a universal story. It’s more complicated than a simple profile of America’s Sweetheart. She was constantly ahead of the game.” The film will be released sometime in 2017. — MacDonald also sings, and has released an EP called THANK YOU (under the name Sureilla) which is available on iTunes.
Maria Doyle Kennedy (Sarah’s foster mom) has an as yet unspecified role in three episodes of REDWATER, a spinoff of the British soap EASTENDERS, in which Kat and Alfie relocate from Walford to a town called Redwater in a effort to find Kat’s long-lost son. Series creator Dominic Treadwell-Collins, said this about the six-part series: “…viewers will witness several huge twists for Kat and Alfie Moon that will change their lives forever…My team here are very excited about creating a whole new drama that stands apart from EastEnders while taking our style of storytelling to a place of stories, myth, secrets and immeasurable beauty.” Shot in Dunmore East, a small fishing village in southeast Ireland, REDWATER will premiere on BBC One in early 2017.