Corner Gas actress has close ties to Victoria

Janet Wright is directing Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre's production of Neil Simon's Brighton Beach Memoirs

Born in Saskatchewan, and living in Vancouver, Janet Wright’s connection to Victoria runs deep

Best known for her role as the crocheting matriarch Emma Leroy in CTV’s sitcom Corner Gas, Wright is also an accomplished theatre actor and director — in fact she started Saskatoon’s Persephone Theatre in 1974 with her late sister Susan and then-husband Brian Richmond, artistic director of Victoria’s Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre. Their son Jacob, artistic director of Victoria’s Atomic Vaudeville was born that first season. Jacob’s sister Celine came shortly afterwards. (Wright’s third child Rachel with second husband and musician Bruce Davis died eight years ago in a tragic shooting outside Vancouver’s Purple Onion Nightclub when she was just 23).

Wright often spends the holidays in Victoria, visiting family, especially since Jacob and his partner had a baby boy earlier this year. But she only started coming here for work when she stared alongside Bruce Greenwood (Double Jeopardy) in Blue Bridge’s production of Love Letters in March.

“I hadn’t worked with Brian since Persephone,” says Wright. “Even though we’re divorced, we’ve been friends over the years and I’ve been here quite a lot.”

Now she’s back directing Blue Bridge’s production of Neil Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs,  running July 2-14 at the McPherson Playhouse.

Wright has been so impressed by her experience working in Victoria that she plans to move here.

“For the size of the place, it’s incredible the amount of talented performers you have here,” says Wright in a break from rehearsals at UVic. “There are some really good actors here in Victoria.”

Over the years, Wright has seen a number of Atomic Vaudeville’s cabarets and is constantly astounded at the breadth of talent among its ranks. “It’s always been top grade and most of the cast has come through UVic, they didn’t have to go looking elsewhere. It’s amazing,” she says.

Wright says another enticing thing about Victoria is that “It’s the most beautiful city in Canada.”

“We always made fun of Victoria, saying it was only for old people… I just love it. Mind you, I’m old now.”


Just Posted

Madcap British farce comes to Langham Court Theatre

Communty theatre company winds up successful season with Noises Off

BEHIND BARS: Nothing common about this place

Commons bartender Geneviéve Turgeon makes what’s old fashioned new again

Victoria Drum Fest continues to attract topnotch international talent

Festival founder Murray Creed expects 10th anniversary event May 26 will be the best yet

MATHIEU POIRIER: New Island brewery tour book a great resource for beer fans

Learn some of the background of local breweries in Island Craft, by Jon C. Stott

Choir offers a capella take on Beatles hits

Soundings will perform concerts in Oak Bay and Sidney May 24 and 25

WATCH: Maya mixes the ancient with the contemporary at the RBCM

New ‘world-leading’ exhibit offers many pieces not seen before by the public

Mamma Mia! poised to be biggest Chemainus Theatre show ever

Plenty of buzz as Island dinner theatre schedules ABBA-fueled romp

Special Report: Front line work by caring emergency doctors

Dr. Jason Wale uses unique program to help people with addictions in Greater Victoria

Action on climate change a moral commitment: author

Dahr Jamail to speak in Sooke on June 4

Put your love of reading to good use June 1

Bolen Books hosting Summer Readathon to help the Victoria Literacy Connection

Most Read