All About Anne
Anne of Green Gables fans were out in full force last night at the special screening of the CBC and Netflix co-produced series Anne. Taking place at the beautiful National Arts Centre in downtown Ottawa, guests were treated to a very special evening.
The evening started out with guests, young and old, gathering in one of the NAC's gorgeous theatres to watch an episode of the hit series, which airs its season finale this Sunday on CBC. The special screening was preceded by words of welcome and introduction by Minister of Canadian Heritage Hon. Mélanie Joly, Premiere of Prince Edward Island Wade MacLauchlan, and executives from CBC and Netflix respectively.
Seeing fans young and old gathered together to watch the show represents how timeless this Canadian classic is. This adaptation of Anne of Green Gables, which has seen plenty of adaptations over the years, is executively produced and written by Moira Walley-Beckett, best known for her work as head writer of the hit series Breaking Bad. Walley-Beckett’s distinct humanistic and honest style of storytelling comes through with this adaptation hitting hard on issues like gender discrimination, child abuse and bullying which were apparent in the original novel, but previous television adaptations have skirted around.
The screening was followed by a panel discussion with cast members Amybeth McNulty (“Anne”), Geraldine James (“Marilla”) and R. H. Thomson (“Matthew”) as well as show runner, executive producer and writer Moira Walley-Beckett and executive producer Miranda de Pencier. The cast and crew were lively and excited as they discussed their experiences shooting the series and what the story means to them.
Newcomer Amybeth McNulty was truly the star of the night. Though she is young, the Irish-born 15-year old, who beat out 1800 other girls for the titular role, is highly witty and intelligent. McNulty doesn't just play Anne, she embodies her. McNulty expressed her relationship with her character saying, “We both have senses of each other and it was less playing a character or being an actor than just letting my side of Anne out.”
The panel was followed by a lovely reception in the foyer of the centre. As guests exited the theatre, everyone was given a handmade floral crown, made of real flowers, to match the character of Anne who regularly adorns flowers in the show.
With a "high tea" theme to fit the era of the series, guests were treated to scones with cream and jam and an assortment of mini tea sandwiches. The bar also offered a special "Anne Temple" drink, a spin on the classic Shirley Temple. During this time, cast members surprised guests by freely mingling around and taking pictures with fans in front of the beautiful floral backdrops set up throughout the foyer.
If this special night was any indication, the story of Anne is truly classic and timeless and still has the ability to drawn in an enthusiastic crowd. It is a great watch for the whole family whether you are familiar with the original books or not.
Anne airs on CBC on Sundays at 8 PM EST. It will be released internationally on Netflix on May 12th.