This darkly comic Canadian series, Slings & Arrows – The Complete Collection, which was seen on TV’s Sundance Channel, follows the fortunes of a dysfunctional Shakespearean theatre troupe that exposes high drama, scorching battles and electrifying thrills that happen behind the scenes.

TV Guide labels it as “Deliciously written” and The Los Angeles Times says, “Big and powerful, a corker”. The New York Times calls it “Charming and complex and lovely”.

We have three seasons covered in this set.

Paul Gross is the washed-up actor, Geoffrey Tennant who assumes the artistic directorship of the New Burbage Theatre which is the site of his acting triumph  and career ending meltdown after the sudden death of his mentor, Oliver, who is played by Stephen Ouimette. While being haunted by Oliver, Tennant finds himself dealing with touchy actors, a jittery general manager, played by Mark McKinney, a guest director, played by Don McKellar, and his romance with the festival’s leading lady, played by Martha Burns.

Season one has Geoffrey, believing that theatre is meant to provoke not anesthetize, taking on the suits who want turn the festival into a theme park, a director runs amok with Hamlet and his own demons which include Oliver who returns to the scene to haunt him.

In the second season we have the struggling Shakespearean theatre exploring the conflicts of middle age and rebranding with questions like “Am I who I want to be or not to be?” Geoffrey stages the play Macbeth to fulfill the vision of Oliver. He then engages in a titanic clash with the lead actor while the festival faces financial crisis that forces its CEO to try some risky business.

In season three we have the New Burbage Theatre Festival struggling with the burden of success as they mount two ambitious productions, Shakespeare’s King Lear and East Hastings. Geoffrey joins up with the musical flamboyant director, to create the least likely hit in theatre history.

Slings & Arrows – The Complete Collection guest list includes Rachel McAdams, Colm Feore, Sarah Polley and the renowned Stratford Festival actor, William Hutt in one of his last performances.

We have special features include in this set which are cast interviews, bloopers, deleted and extended scenes, photo galleries, production notes, trailers and song lyrics. There is also an exclusive bonus disc, “A Look Behind The Scenes” featurette, more cast and crew interviews and on-set footage.

This DVD boxed set, Slings & Arrows – The Complete Collection is the complete series and on 7 discs there are a total of 18 episodes. The approximate run time in 840 minutes. If you’d like your own copy, just click on the Amazon link above.

Jan Barrett

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