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here are some preliminary sketches and ideas for our production of the constant wife

Somerset Maugham in 1939

at right early photo of Syrie Maugham; was she indeed the constant wife? Certainly not forever. She was, however, a brilliant interior designer, one of her most famous creations being the all white room, which really looks rather beige, but we are using as inspiration for our set at any rate.

at right, a model box for the Stanley Theatre in Vancouver.  This is an exact replica of the space into which we will fit a Syrie Maugham inspired Ken MacDonald set design. Model boxes, right, generally come in quarter inch or half inch scale, but the mock set Ken has constructed below, is done in eighth inch scale. Eighth inch meaning one eighth of an inch represents one foot

Nicole Underhay will play Constance in our production. This will be our third show with this versatile and charming actress.

Above, London 1930. Below, elevations used by Stanley Theatre technical director, production manager, and head carpenter, to calculate the cost of the set. Once the design is approved, the set will be build using these CAD drawings, done on computer by Ken MacDonald assistant Ken MacKenzie

Below, window style we are imitating in the set design; we want a feel of modernity, reflective of Constances attitude toward marriage and sexuality

Ted Cole gets fitted for a suit

Nancy Bryant sketches for The Constant Wife, top row left, Martha, top right Mrs. Culver, bottom left Marie Louise, centre friend Barbara Fawcett, and bottom right Constance Middleton. We have moved the period forward slightly to 1933-35 when the womens lines are more attractive and sophisticated

Located in the heart of Vancouver, the Stanley Theatre is an elegantly restored 1931 movie house. From 1930 to 1991, the Stanley Theatre was undeniable the premier cinema in Vancouver. Today, it has been converted into a 650-seat live theatre venue for drama, comedy or musicals.

the elegant interior of The Stanley Theatre in Vancouver

Ted Cole, left, will play John Middleton, the philandering husband. Moya OConnell is meddling sister Martha

Moya recently starred at The Shaw Festival in Mrs Warrens Profession

Cast and crew pose for group photo the night before opening; top left to right, Dale, Stephan, Caryn, Mike, Nancy, Anne, Alan, Ken; next row, Celine, Katey, Patty; bottom row, Moya, Nicole, Morris, Ted, Bridget, Mark

Above, Katey Wright fitting for Barbara Fawcett, Upper R. Bridget OSullivan, R lower R and below, Nicole as Constance, far right Moya OConnell as Martha. There are hours of fittings before we have our final costumes.

Below and L. before we head into the theatre, Alan Brodie hangs and focusses the lights so we can begin our cue to cue

For a time we had picked some Maurice Ravel music because its beautiful and haunting but also because it worked so effectively in our production of Design for Living at the Shaw Festival. A few weeks ago we thought the music might have too much melancholy and got the sound engineer to cut music from some obscure English clarinet pieces but that ended up sounding kind of twee so back to the Ravel, from his string quartets, actually its perfect. But why not change our minds now and again just to keep the sound engineer on his toes? Upper Left. Maurice Ravel. Left Celine at Q to Q

First day on stage was lots of fun with the actors familiarizing themselves with both set and costumes; upper left Bridget and Mike, above Moya, and left Mike and Nicole trying out their new clothes

At left a David Cooper photo of the set; this is a preset look, the show itself is lit very white but we took advantage of non scenic moments, such as transitions, to apply some colour

Read more about the play, this production, and its context in Bills notes