Blue Bridge Theatre’s Of Mice and Men a testament to society’s failings

Cast includes film, Broadway veterans

David Ferry stars in Blue Bridge Theatre’s production Of Mice and Men this month.

Hollywood and Broadway meet as Gary Farmer and David Ferry star in Blue Bridge Theatre’s Of Mice and Men.

The four-year-old Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre premiered the monumental dramatic work yesterday. The John Steinbeck’s Depression era masterpiece and towering indictment of American capitalism, Of Mice and Men continues until July 15.

“This is one of the most profound and moving testaments to the ills in a society that is based on a class structure that encourages a wide separation between haves and have-nots,” said director Brian Richmond. “Sadly, even though the play premiered 75 years ago, the growing disparity between the rich and the poor, as indicated with the still-continuing Occupy Wall Street movement, prove that this play is as pertinent now as it was during one of the worst periods in modern economic history.”

To breathe new life into Steinbeck’s testimony to the power of friendship, Richmond assembled a stellar cast and creative team. Led by Gary Farmer (Johnny Depp’s co-star in Jim Jarmuch’s cult film Dead Man) in the role of Lennie and Stratford and Broadway veteran David Ferry in the role of George.

The Of Mice and Men cast is drawn from the ranks of the best of the company’s growing acting ensemble including Brian Linds as Candy, Christopher Mackie as Slim, Ashley O’Connell as Curly, Michael Armstrong as Carlson, Laurence Dean Ifill as Crooks, James Leard as the Boss and newcomers Sebastien Archibald (of ITSAZOO theatre) as Whit and Samantha Richard as Curly’s wife.

Pacific Opera Victoria’s Ian Rye designed the set; Patricia Reilley, the costumes; Rebekah Johnson, the lights; and Brian Linds, the sound.

“I am particularly delighted to be welcoming Gary into the Blue Bridge acting ensemble,” said Richmond.  “He is, quite probably, the greatest aboriginal actor of his generation, in my opinion. He and I did this play together in another production once before and I can absolutely assure Victoria audiences that they will be witnessing one of the greatest performances I have witnessed in the Canadian theatre.”

Of Mice and Men is at the McPherson Playhouse until  July 15. Tickets, starting at $24.50, are available from the McPherson Playhouse box office and online at rmts.bc.ca.