Première of Spanish masterpiece for Odyssey Theatre’s 34th season

Nicole Gonato

Odyssey Theatre (pictured in a 2015 production) will present The Bonds of Interest in Strathcona Park July 25-August 25
Photo Odyssey Theatre

Each year, Odyssey Theatre welcomes theatregoers of all ages from across Ottawa to the outdoor stage in Sandy Hill’s beautiful Strathcona Park. Renowned for its signature performances featuring Commedia dell’Arte, mask, physical theatre, clown and puppetry, Odyssey’s Theatre Under the Stars series has received over 25 awards and nominations, most recently included in the Ottawa Citizen’s Top 10 Live Performances of 2018.

This summer, Odyssey Theatre brings a new translation and adaptation of The Bonds of Interest by Nobel Prize laureate Jacinto Benavente to the Ottawa community. The Bonds of Interest is a brilliant comic intrigue about two con artists who swindle an entire town of crooked merchants, powerful elites, and grasping pretenders, all of whom will stop at nothing to get rich quick. This clever satire takes aim at the corruption and insatiable greed flourishing in a modern money-driven world.

While it is considered Benavente’s most celebrated work, The Bonds of Interest is rarely produced in North America. Distinguished scholar, Catherine Boyle of King’s College London, collaborated with Odyssey’s Artistic Director, Laurie Steven, to create a dynamic new translation that will introduce Benavente’s modern Commedia dell’Arte masterpiece to the contemporary English-speaking world. This exciting collaboration was developed through Odyssey’s New Play Creation Program with workshops in both Ottawa and the UK.

Odyssey’s award winning Artistic Director, Laurie Steven, returns to direct a talented cast of Odyssey veterans and newcomers from Ottawa, Toronto and the UK. Leading the cast as Crispín, the master manipulator, is Canadian-British actor and Odyssey veteran, Ross Mullan, best known as the White Walker on Game of Thrones. Also joining the cast is Toronto theatre and film actor, Soo Garay, most recently seen on HBO’s The Handmaid’s Tale, and Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy. Five talented local actors will be taking the stage this summer, including Stavros Sakiadis, Mitchel Rose, Bruce Spinney, Maryse Fernandes and William Beddoe.

Steven is also working with an outstanding team of designers – notably Sandy Hill’s eminent heritage architect, Barry Padolsky, who played a key role in the rehabilitation of the Canadian Museum of Nature, and the Ottawa Art Gallery and Arts Court redevelopment; as well as award winning local designer, Vanessa Imeson, costumes; Ottawa composer and founder of Lachance Music, Venessa Lachance, music and sound; and renowned mask designer, Clelia Scala. Inspired by graphic novels and hip-hop jazz funk music, the team of designers is creating a world of decadent glamour and decaying wealth, inhabited by comic masked crooks and charlatans.

With a vibrant new translation of a Spanish gem, a talented cast and company, and the return of Odyssey’s trademark style, this stunning production promises to be the hit of the summer. Enjoy a magical night of Theatre Under the Stars along the banks of the Rideau River with friends and family.

The Bonds of Interest will run from July 25 to August 25, 2019: Tuesdays through Sundays at 8 p.m., with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.; Tickets available from June 10.

More information about Odyssey Theatre is available at