THE ELEPHANT GIRLS

The Elephant Girls

Written & Performed by Margo MacDonald

A Parry Riposte Production

Directed by Mary Ellis
Costume Design by Vanessa Imeson

Winner of seven awards and three 100% sold-out runs, this riveting new work arrives for it’s first run in Toronto, having most recently played at the Undercurrents Festival in Ottawa and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland.

Without doubt, they were the most notorious girl gang Britain’s ever seen.
(Brian McDonald,The Gangs of London)

Clever, organized, devious & daring; they stole from the rich and gave to themselves. A fascinating piece of lost women’s history, only recently brought to light, this is the gripping tale of the all-female gang which terrorized London for over 100 years.

Right here, right now, for one night only, I’ll tell you something special
I ain’t never told no one before; I’ll tell you the truth.
(Maggie Hale, The Elephant Girls)

The truth. As told by Maggie Hale–the gang’s suit-wearing, bloody-knuckled, girl-chasing “enforcer”. She’ll tell you all: who they were, what they did, how they got away with it, and how it all came crashing down. But just how much are you sure you want to hear?

A story both captivating and repelling, humorous and terrifying. You won’t be able to look away.

MARGO MACDONALD (PLAYWRIGHT & PERFORMER)

Margo is a multi-award winning actor, director, and theatre creator. In 2010, she wrote and performed in the smash hit, Shadows, (about theatre diva Eva Le Gallienne) which won the Ottawa Fringe Outstanding Overall, Best of Fest, and Fan Favourite awards that year. It went on to sell out at the undercurrents: theatre below the mainstream festival at the Great Canadian Theatre Company (GCTC), and has since played to rave reviews at Videofag in Toronto, and the Tea House Theatre in London, England. She is the co-creator (with Richard Gelinas) of Much Ado About Feckin’ Pirates! which played at the Toronto Festival of Clowns in 2015. Other recent performance credits include: Pomme & ‘Restes: Shipwrecked!, A Midwinter’s Dream Tale, and Henry V (A Company of Fools); The Norman Conquests (Plosive Productions); Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) and Fly Me to the Moon (Great Canadian Theatre Company); and The Penelopiad (Citadel Theatre). Margo is a three-time winner of the Rideau Award for Outstanding Performance (Iron, SevenThirty Productions; Fly Me to the Moon, GCTC; The Elephant Girls, Parry Riposte Productions), and was awarded Best Professional Actress by the Capital Critics Circle in 2015.
Follow her on Twitter: @margo_thespian

MARY ELLIS (DIRECTOR)

Mary is an Ottawa-based artist who has worked extensively as an actor, director and teacher for many years. Her directing credits include George F. Walker’s The End of Civilization (Same Day Theatre), Ian Tamblyn’s Bridge to the Past (Theatre Wakefield), and Blackbird (Third Wall Theatre), as well as Dario Fo’s They Don’t Pay? We Won’t Pay! and Walker’s Tough! (Algonquin College). Her many acting credits include numerous roles at the Great Canadian Theatre Company (Fly Me to the Moon, Circle Mirror Transformation, Life X 3, Problem Child, Better Living), the NAC (The Ark), Third Wall Theatre (God of Carnage, The Dumb Waiter), New Theatre of Ottawa, and the Gladstone Theatre (Doubt), among others. Also a respected teacher, Mary has inspired countless students over the years. She has garnered several awards and nominations for her work as both an actor and a director, including the 2015 Outstanding Director Prix Rideau Award for The Elephant Girls, and the Capital Critics Circle Award for Best Production for Blackbird.

VANESSA IMESON (COSTUME DESIGNER)

Vanessa is a theatre artist holding a combined BA Honours degree in Dramatic Art and English from the University of Windsor, MFA in Theatre Design from the University of British Columbia and diploma for Makeup Design for Film and Television from Vancouver Film School.

Based in Ottawa, Vanessa designs costumes, make-up, wigs and puppets for theatres across Canada while simultaneously acting as Head of Wardrobe for the Great Canadian Theatre Company (GCTC). She enjoys collecting odd buttons and other people’s family photographs.
You can view her work at vanessaimeson.com

Introducing Mr. Wilde:

WORK IS THE CURSE OF THE DRINKING CLASS

Oscar Wilde once remarked that he had put his genius into his life and only his talent into his work. Neil Titley’s sympathetic one-man show, WORK IS THE CURSE OF THE DRINKING CLASS, proves that for once the familiarly flip Wilde aphorism contains more than a grain of truth. Great success and public approval were brutally followed by disgrace, downfall and the kind of weary self-knowledge which suffering seems to bring. Remarkably, Titley manages to touch on all these facets of Wilde. He has based it on the writer’s letters and essays and set in Paris in 1898, two years before the exile’s death. Naturally the bon mots and withering judgments are there in plenty – ‘The world is a stage but the play is badly cast’ among them – but so too is the fatigue and sadness of a figure much more sinned against than sinning. Titley balances Wilde’s almost dutiful humour with an unsentimental portrayal of his suffering in Reading jail, his bitter perception of man’s inhumanity to man. He also captures his character’s dignity in despair and the comedy makes the heartbreak of Wilde’s life even more poignant.

Neil Titley is crossing the pond to help us launch this company, please join us in welcoming him.

Dates and Times:

  • Friday, January 6th @ 8pm
  • Saturday, Janaury 7th @ 2pm and @ 8pm
  • Sunday, January 8th @ 2pm
  • Wednesday, January 11th @ 8pm
  • Thursday, January 12th @ 8pm
  • Friday, January 13th @ 8pm
  • Saturday, January 14th @ 2pm and @ 8pm
  • Sunday, January 15th @ 2pm

Who We Are

We are a company dedicated to the exceptional production of the performing arts – music, theatre, stand-up comedy, story telling and the like – inspired by the life and work of Irish playwright Oscar Wilde. Topics of interest include social justice, the penal system, LGBTQ+ representation and wit.

At its heart, the Wilde Festival is inspired both by the brilliance of Oscar Wilde’s work and by the difficulties he encountered in his life. Our productions seek to illuminate these challenges and help bring about a better world through the discussion of difficult and important ideas without letting go of fun, wit and entertainment.