This Wide Night – Press Release

M E R M A I D P A R A D E presents the CANADIAN PREMIERE of THIS WIDE NIGHT

Award winning UK play premieres JULY 22 at Theatre Passe Muraille

On her release from prison, Lorraine heads straight to Marie’s. On the inside they used to share everything, but the friendship that once protected them now threatens to smother their new fragile freedom. “This Wide Night” is a tender and fierce portrayal of two women trying to start again.

Over the rocky course of a week we see the bonds of their friendship tested, teased and provoked as they try to reconnect and rekindle their relationship. We learn about the issues they have had with family, friends, lovers, and in Lorraine’s case, about the son she lost over twenty years ago, with whom she is desperate to make contact.

This Wide Night was commissioned and produced by Clean Break theatre company and premiered at The Soho Theatre, London, followed by a regional tour to women’s prisons. The play was inspired by women whom playwright Chloë Moss met while doing a theatre workshop at HMP Cookham Wood Prison.

“The play explores the importance and uniqueness of relationships formed in prison: how they can, or perhaps cannot, exist in another context; and also resettlement – when ‘freedom’ can actually feel like a very bleak and frightening prospect.”

This Wide Night was awarded the Susan Smith Blackburn prize for the best play of 2009: “given annually to recognize women from around the world who have written works of outstanding quality for the English-speaking theatre.”

Mermaid Parade Co. has been formed with the purpose of presenting this play’s Canadian Premiere, at the Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace. Following which the hope is to tour a production to other theatres as well as to community centers and women’s prisons, as the systemic problems highlighted in this British play are unfortunately just as endemic in Canada. Astrid Van Wieren and Claire Burns play Lorraine and Marie; directed by Jon Michaelson; set & costumes by Lindsay Anne Black; lighting by David DeGrow; sound design by Mike Conley & Emily Derr; Stage-managed by Meredith Henry.

FURTHER INFO: www.thiswidenight.com (Opening Night: Friday, July 22, 8 PM)