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The Whirlpool

The Whirlpool
Your Price: $15.95 CDN
Limited Quantities
Author: Jane Urquhart
Adapted by: Brian Quirt
Publisher: Playwrights Canada Press
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 80
Pub. Date: 2001
ISBN-10: 0887546110
ISBN-13: 9780887546112

About the Play:

The Whirlpool is a full-length drama by Brian Quirt, based on the novel by Jane Urquhart. Four lives – including a poet and an undertaker's widow – become entangled by the whirlpool at Niagara Falls and the woods surrounding it. Darker and more sinister currents gain momentum and ultimately release them from their obsessions.

The Whirlpool is a stage adaptation of the Jane Urquhart novel of the same title. Set along the Niagara River in Ontario in 1889, this poetic story brings together five Victorian Canadians whose lives are drawn to the swollen gorge. Fleda and her husband David are to build a house on a height of land above the Niagara River whirlpool. David is visited in his dreams by Canadian war heroine Laura Secord. Fleda's dreams reside in the woods surrounding the whirlpool where she first encounters Patrick, a convalescing poet who enters their landscape and changes their destiny. Meanwhile, young widow Maud Grady, who has taken over her late husband's funeral home, is struggling out of her mourning and coping with her strange silent five-year-old son, Boy Grady. It's summer, the season of reckless stunts and river casualties in Niagara Falls, and as these five lives become entangled by the whirlpool, darker and more sinister currents gain momentum and ultimately release them from their obsessions.

The Whirlpool premiered in 2000 at Tarragon Theatre Mainspace in Toronto. A student production of an abridged version was presented by Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic High School as part of the 2009 Sears Drama Festival.

Cast: 2 women, 2 men, 1 boy

What people say:

"Brian Quirt, in adapting the story for the stage, not only remains faithful to the aesthetic spirit of the novel, he uses its ethereal quality to create a theatrical work of haunting beauty." — Toronto Star

About the Playwright:

Brian Quirt is a Canadian dramaturg, director and playwright. He is Artistic Director of Nightswimming, a Toronto dramaturgical company that has commissioned 30 works of dance and drama, and Director of the Banff Centre Playwrights Colony. With more than 25 years experience as a dramaturg, he has worked with many of Canada’s leading playwrights.