Foster two-hander opens soon at Playhouse

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Patricia Vanstone Norm Foster in On A First Name Basis, by Norm Foster

CORNWALL, Ontario - In the final show of its regular summer season, The Upper Canada Playhouse, welcomes back Canada’s most prolific playwright, Norm Foster, in a production that he not only has written, but has also been appearing in, himself. 

“On a First Name Basis, is about a cranky writer who has had a maid for the last 28 years, but has never bothered to ask what her name is,” explained Donnie Bowes, artistic director, UCP. “On the occasion of this play he admits that he doesn’t know anything about her and discovers that she knows almost everything there is to know about him. It makes for a really, really interesting story.”

Foster, who wrote the two-hander four years ago for himself and actress, Patricia Vanstrome (incidentally, the only cast that’s ever done this show) enjoyed great success, with its debut in Bermuda. It has toured in a number of theatres since, to much acclaim.

“I went to see it and it was just electrifying. It’s hysterically funny. There’s a real dynamic between these two people who have nothing in common, and yet for two hours you’re just totally enwrapped in the story that they are telling. I think the audience is really going to like it. Nobody does his material like he does.”

Bowes says that Norm Foster fans won’t be disappointed in terms of the humour value. “It’s an extremely funny play, but there’s a little more to it. There are some surprises, things that people can really hang on to. It sneaks up on you.”

On A First Name Basis runs from September 4 to 28. Coming later, this fall, from the producers of the smash hit, Memories of the Summer of Love, which ran earlier this spring, is Memories of Rock ‘n Roll (Oct. 16-26) with music from Bill Haley and the Comets, Fats Domino and Buddy Holly, among others.

Looking forward to next Christmas, will be Lights, Camera… Christmas. In this “throw-back to the Andy Williams Show,” explains Bowes, the audience is cast as the audience of a television studio show that is collapsing during its filming.

For further information, call the Upper Canada Playhouse at 613-543-4388 or visit

Organizations: The Upper Canada Playhouse

Geographic location: Ontario, Canada, Bermuda

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