Rappaccini’s Daughter

By Charles Tidler
Adapted from the short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne

A story told within itself, Rappaccini’s Daughter is a “Once Upon a Time” tale, complete with archetypal characters of fairy tale proportions, magic gardens, villains and heroes.  At the same time it explores how humans and science manipulate the environment—by chronicling the trials and tribulations of a scientist who experiments on his own daughter in a fairytale land that is neither past, present, nor future.




Media Reviews

“The University of Victoria’s theatre department has created a look for Rappaccini’s Daughter that is stunning—indeed, it is the productions greatest strength.  The most successful design elements are abstract and video images projected on backdrops of shimmering black ribbons.  Spiral staircases, doorways and a never-ending snowfall seemingly appear out of nowhere.  The effect is magical; very potent.  Credit goes to set designer Sam Whittingham, lighting designer Michael Whitfield and projections creator William Mackwood.”

“The production, directed by Linda Hardy, also boasts original music and dance.  Alexander Ferguson (who also has the role of Prof. Baglioni) has created music that is cinematic and fairly conventional.  Most of the dance sequences occur between Beatrice (Kate Braidwood) and the mute plant that is her “twin”, gracefully played by Leah James.  Tom Middleditch stars as the young hero, Giovanni, with Jay Hindle as Rappaccini.”

– Adrian Chamberlain, Times Colonist

“Director Linda Hardy, along with set designer Sam Whittingham breathe as much fairy dust as possible into this play.  Whittingham’s shimmering celluloid forest with its intersecting ramps gives Hardy a whimsical staging ground that she uses to full advantage.  There is more than a passing resemblance to Romeo and Juliet in the gawky, blushing antics of Beatrice and Giovanni.”

– Robert Mitchell, CBC Reviewer

“As the bold young lover, Tom Middleditch is a delight to watch; Kate Braidwood, however, is less successful in the more one-note title role.  Kate Humble is particularly juicy in her double role (landlady, spider)—although it’s tough at times to figure out what her real purpose is—and Leah James is scintillatingly sensual as the non-speaking poison plant.  Jay Hindle and Alexander Ferguson, as rival scientists, bring a touch of humour and menace to the stage, although again, their presence seems to have more to do with plot necessity than dramatic action.”

– John Threlfall, Monday Magazine

Show Dates

February 27 – March 22, 2003

Matinee – Saturday, March 22 at 2pm
Pre-Show Lecture – February 28 at 7pm

Cast & Creative

Director:  Linda Hardy
Guest Set Designer:  Sam Whittingham
Costume Designer:  Janis Ward
Guest Lighting Designer:  Michael Whitfield
Guest Projections Designer:  William Mackwood
Musical Director/Composer:  Alexander Ferguson
Choreographer/Movement Director:  K. Scott Malcolm
Stage Manager:  Rebecca Mulvihill

Cast:  Kate BraidwoodAlexander FergusonJay HindleKate HumbleLeah James and Tom Middleditch.