Sunday, January 16, 2011

Closing Night . . .

Greeted with not exactly the same fanfare as Opening Night, but still with enthusiasm, we come to the end my friends. What a fantastic run it has been: great performances, wonderful audiences and sold out shows, an utterly ridiculous Midnight Massacre and delightful reviews. Plus a totally awesome feature on BRAVO News. I think it is safe to call this run of DUEL OF AGES with the NEXT STAGE FESTIVAL a success.

And here we are. Closing night. A sense of accomplishment, and a feeling of sadness. I suppose it's good in a way to feel sad to say goodbye. It means that we did something right, something that will be missed.

My first post was about the madness of organising schedules of 25 actors plus directors and fight directors, and I suppose my last ought to comment how it's amazing that you can have such a large group of individuals come together to form an ensemble that works together seamlessly, and can, with their combined efforts, create magic.

No one said it would be easy. And darn it all, it wasn't.

But that doesn't make it any less fun.

And rewarding.

Thank you to everyone who came and supported such a unique show. We truly do appreciate you guys coming out and spending time with us. Here's hoping we shall meet again soon!

And now . . . some pics . . .

Backstage antics . . .

In the girls' change room . . . 

In the greenroom . . .

In the wings . . .

Get To Know Your Fighters/Fearless Leader - Todd Campbell

Yes. We have come to the end. You now know all your fighters. I hope that this experience was an educational one, that you feel ready to face the world armed with the knowledge of what fight movies rock and what drinks are preferable. And today, to round things off, we finish with our fearless leader, Mr. Todd Campbell. DUEL OF AGES was his creation, and the guy's like in tons of the scenes as well and maybe fight directed just a couple too.

So here's our final Get To Know Your Fighters . . . relish it my friends . . . relish it . . .

Todd Campbell
Creator/Producer/Fight Director DUEL OF AGES
Roles in DUEL OF AGES: Queles (Le Duel Des Mignons), Stewart (The Last Duel of Rob Roy), Dooley (The Pistoleers)

How long have you been fighting. Uh . . . the fake kind of fighting?
Since 1992, so almost twenty years.

What got you interested in Stage Combat?
The theatre school I went to in NYC had a very extensive stage combat program and I loved playing with swords.... most likely a result of playing too much D&D as a kid ...and as an adult.

Tell us about a memorable fight moment you've had.
I have choreographed and performed many fights that I am proud of. But putting Maupin together the first time was the most memorable. I had a vision of the piece but had never tried anything like it before. The first time we tried it with music, fight and dance all together I held my breath hoping it would work. It was (and still is) my best work.

Favourite weapon (and why):
Rapier and companion weapon (dagger, cloak, second rapier). The Rapier has been my first love since day one. There are so many rapier manuals from the period with so many different techniques and styles of rapier play, that I have an endless variety of shapes and looks to choose from when I choreograph a fight.

Favourite Fight film/play:
The Duelists (of course), Rob Roy, the Three and Four Musketeers (from the 70s)... really anything choreographed by William Hobbs. Oh and Stardust. There is an awe inspiring fight at the end of the movie by (and I believe doubled by) Richard Ryan.

Favourite famous fighter:
Anthony DeLongis. Amazing with a sword... and a whip!

Role you wish you could have played:
Hamlet. I understudied the part when I was in my early 20's. At the time I was terrified I might have to go on, now however I feel like I could do justice to the role.
And Edmund in Long Days Journey into Night... I love O'Neill.

Favourite drink that audience members should buy you after witnessing your awesome in Duel of Ages:
Blanche de Chamblie with a slice of orange

Anything else you'd like to plug:
I will be fight directing at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival later this year. I will be working on Camelot, Twelfth Night, Merry Wives of Windsor and The Homecoming.

Friday, January 14, 2011


Check us out featured on BRAVO News!  (we're part two of the clip)


Tonight's the night!
Join us for Duel of Ages: MIDNIGHT MASSACRE on January 14, an extra raucous midnight showing of the smash Fringe hit!

All proceeds go to benefit the Toronto Fringe's artist outreach programs.

The $25 ticket includes a pre-show party at 11pm in the heated McAuslan Beer Tent, free munchies (we'll be serving up free Smoke's Poutine), door prizes, a $10 charitable tax receipt, and the midnight performance of Duel of Ages, a play with nine combat scenes depicting various ages in the history of dueling.

"An exciting mix of brains and brawn" NNNN - Jordan Bimm, NOW Magazine

25 Fighters + 9 Duels + 16 Bloody Deaths (and countless wounded) = 1 Killer Show.

Click Here For Midnight Massacre


More reviews for DUEL OF AGES!

The Way I See It calls DUEL OF AGES "sharp and winning"!  


"Fight choreographers and those who are masters of stage combat are often called upon for particular scenes in the theatre, especially historical works or ones dealing with explicit violence, but these are still usually isolated bits of a larger picture. It is really wonderful to have the opportunity to see a huge cast filled with exorbitantly talented individuals having the chance to make these skills the very heart of the art of the piece."

Full review

Paula Citron with Classical 96.3FM said some lovely things about the show as well
here, stating that "the history lesson [in dueling] has both interest and humour". 

AND the Brown Okinawa Assault Incident blog noted that the show is "full of comic relief, tension and crisp, well choreographed fights".

AND Panic Manual adds that the members of the cast "are the best at what they do, they love it, and it shows."  

AND Mooney on Theatre says that "this is stage combat at its best."

Get To Know Your Fighters - Siobhan Richardson

For your edification we present to you "Get To Know Your Fighters" where you . . . get to know the fighters . . . from DUEL OF AGES. Because, as we all know, knowledge is power. As is the ability to kick ass.

Siobhan Richardson
Roles in DUEL OF AGES: The Poor (Le Duel Des Mignons), Innkeeper (The Last Duel of Rob Roy), The One (One)

How long have you been fighting. Uh . . . the fake kind of fighting?
10 years

What got you interested in Stage Combat?:
MaƮtre D'Armes J.P. Fournier came to my college and taught a week of stage combat. I was hooked from the first moment.

Tell us about a memorable fight moment you've had:
In 30˚C with no breeze, performing 15 fights in an hour and fifteen minutes (part of the Humber River Shakespeare Company's Sonnet Show). That's a 2-minute fight, every 5 minutes. I really saw how valuable foundations are: when you're sweaty and exhausted, the strength of your core principles and technique shine through.

Favourite weapon (and why):
I honestly love them all, but Longsword comes out ahead. It feels right. I can really dance with that weapon, using my whole body, more than any other. It's so elegant, fluid, subtle and has extraordinary variety in its use.

Favourite Fight film/play:
I honestly don't think it's happened yet, but the blade work and shooting in Prince Caspian is really good. And really like Jovanni Sy's play, The Five Vengeances. Secret: I'm part of a play workshop right now that might turn out to be my favourite script...

Favourite famous fighter:
SUCH A HARD QUESTION! There's a lot of good people, and I like different people for different reasons. I think Michelle Yeoh is someone to aspire to, as an actor and a fighter. I must also mention Brandon Lee, because I think we lost something wonderful when he died.

Role you wish you could have played:
When they make a live-action Moribito, it had better be me! But for one that's already happened, "Xena". Seriously, a new fight every week (and musical episodes)? That's pretty cool.

Favourite drink that audience members should buy you after witnessing your awesome in Duel of Ages:
Wind and Sail Ale from Barley Days Brewery of Prince Edward County. A real treat, though, would be Black Amber Ale from Big Rock in Alberta.

Anything else you'd like to plug:.
I've received a grant from the Ontario Arts Council's Chalmers Fellowship Award which is allowing me to further study acting and stage combat in Sweden, England, and Washington D.C. Keep an eye on my blog to see where I am and what I'm doing.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Get To Know Your Fighters - Dean Rideout

For your edification we present to you "Get To Know Your Fighters" where you . . . get to know the fighters . . . from DUEL OF AGES. Because, as we all know, knowledge is power. As is the ability to kick ass.

Dean Rideout
Roles in DUEL OF AGES: King's Guard (Le Duel Des Mignons), Dancer (La Maupin)

How long have you been fighting. Uh . . . the fake kind of fighting?
It all started when I was back at Sheridan College for Music Theatre Performance and Dan Levinson came in to teach our basic unarmed class. He taught me how to beat the crap out of someone while holding a phone! ...Safely, of course.

What got you interested in Stage Combat?
After having a taste of it at Sheridan, an upcoming project of mine required a little bit of piratey sword play. Just at this time there was a basic intensive coming up, and I figured it was meant to be!

Tell us about a memorable fight moment you've had.
It may not be an actual moment in a fight, but I've had a very memorable fight partner. While I was taking my basic intensive at Rapier Wit, I was strangely the only Canadian taking the class. Though most were American, one girl in my class was from New Zealand, and she was the coolest! Marvelling over the cheap produce and the niceness of Toronto was very groovy, then I got to match blades with her in a great pirate scene!

Favourite weapon (and why):
The scimitar! Can you tell I have a thing for pirates?

Favourite Fight film/play:
The Protector. Or the sheer ridiculousness of something like Shoot 'Em Up.

Favourite famous fighter:
Johnny Depp swashbuckling away in Pirates!

Role you wish you could have played:
I still hope to play Mercutio one day.

Favourite drink that audience members should buy you after witnessing your awesome in Duel of Ages:
If it's free, anything in the beer tent sounds fantastic!

Anything else you'd like to plug:
Come see me and some very talented young people in A Chorus Line with Toronto Youth Theatre! Opens February 10th.