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Wingfield’s Inferno is ‘pure comic gold’

by on April 17, 2012

A devastating fire at the Orange Hall in Larkspur leaves it a smouldering ruin. Walt Wingfield leads the charge to get it rebuilt, but lighting a fire under his fellow committee members proves a daunting task. Is it courage they lack or is the devil in the details? Rod Beattie returns to The Fredericton Playhouse on Sunday, May 6 at 2pm and 7:30pm for another instalment from the hilarious and successful Wingfield series.

Rod Beattie (Wingfield) is a veteran of fifteen seasons with the Stratford Festival, and is one of the most respected and versatile actors in Canadian theatre whose extensive credits include radio, television, film and live performances across Canada. Featured roles include Ed in Ed’s Garage at Theatre Orangeville, Felix in The Odd Couple at Segal Centre, Montreal, Johnny Pateen Mike in The Cripple of Inishmaan at Theatre Calgary, Bill in The Love List and Greg in Sylvia at the Belfry Theatre, Victoria, John Proctor in The Crucible and Father Gustave in Blessings in Disguise at Manitoba Theatre Centre, the Professor in Oleanna at the Grand Theatre and the National Arts Centre (opposite Sandra Oh) and Andy Ladd in an Ontario tour of Love Letters (opposite Martha Henry). Over the past twenty years or so Rod’s name has become synonymous with the Wingfield series which has brought him acting awards, rave reviews and sold-out houses in Toronto, London, Stratford, Victoria, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Saint John, Fredericton, and a host of smaller communities across Canada.

Dan Needles (playwright) spent half of his childhood in the city and half on the family farm at Rosemont, Ontario. After university he went to work as editor of the local newspaper in Shelburne where he created the character of Walt Wingfield, the retired stockbroker turned farmer, who told about his adventures on the farm in a series of weekly letters to the editor. In 1985 Dan drew from these columns to write his first play Letter From Wingfield Farm. Wingfield’s Progress followed in 1987, Wingfield’s Folly in 1990, Wingfield Unbound in 1997, Wingfield On Ice in 2001, Wingfield’s Inferno in 2005 and Wingfield Lost and Found in 2009. For fifteen years Dan delighted readers of Harrowsmith Country Life with his back page column True Confessions from the Ninth Concession. His latest book Wingfield’s World, a novelization of all seven Wingfield plays, was released last October.

The Toronto Star raves that Wingfield’s Inferno is “…pure comic gold… The day you succeed in packing as much laughter, thought, insight and feeling into two hours as Beattie and Needles do, then give me a call.” Network Now calls it “a brilliantly funny look at humanity… each episode appears to be more polished and intricately laid out than its predecessor… entertainment of the highest order.”

Tickets for Wingfield’s Inferno are available at the Fredericton Playhouse box office 1-866-884-5800, or online at

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