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clasped hands with engagement ringUniversity Players presents the Edwardian comedy “The Cassilis Engagement” at Essex Hall Theatre, Jan. 31 to Feb. 9.

Comedic clash of classes coming to University Players stage

University Players will break new ground this weekend as it opens its production of The Cassilis Engagement — the first local performance of the play.

Edwardian playwright St. John Hankin, a contemporary of Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw, subtitled his work “Comedy for Mothers.” In this lively clash of the classes, Geoffery Cassilis and Ethel Borridge are determined to tie the knot. As they bring together their families to plan the wedding, the refined Mrs. Cassilis must take on the obnoxious Mrs. Borridge. Audiences will laugh and cry as the matriarchs strive to keep their children together … or apart.

Hankin’s plays have been neglected for nearly a century, until revivals were produced at the Shaw Festival in Niagara, in New York, and in London, England.

The Cassilis Engagement is a great example of late Edwardian comedy that will delight and surprise audiences of today with its quick-witted comedy and over-the-top characters,” says director Lee Wilson.

The show opens with an 8 p.m. performance Friday, Jan. 31, and continues at Essex Hall Theatre through Feb. 9. Tickets can be purchased at www.universityplayers.com or by calling the box office at 519-253-3000, ext. 2808.