The Shaw Festival Reveals its 2024 Season

Queen Street at Christmas

Nestled in the heart of Niagara-on-the-Lake, the Shaw is one of North America’s finest cultural attractions. Featuring some of the best theatre ever created, the Shaw’s 2024 calendar is filled with an eclectic array of quirky comedies, bold dramas, entertaining musicals and favourite classics. 

Perhaps a “well-behaved” someone on your list would love to see a ticket or two to a Shaw performance in their Christmas stocking. Add a gift certificate from a STAY Niagara-on-the-Lake member property, and you have a winning combo.

Royal York Theatre front doors

At the Royal George Theatre
It all kicks off on April 6 at the Royal George Theatre with Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution. Regarded as one of the writer’s greatest stage mysteries, the story revolves around the murder of a wealthy widow whose handsome, charming and much younger gentleman friend becomes the obvious suspect. Will he escape the hangman’s noose?

From May 31 to October 13, the world premiere of The Secret Garden tells the story of an orphan, Mary Lennox. Upon discovering a walled garden with a locked door on her reclusive uncle’s manor grounds, her curiosity is sparked into life. There’s fun here for the whole family.

Another world premiere, The Orphan of Chao, previews on June 13. In this one-act lunchtime play, known by many as the Chinese version of Hamlet, a violent palace power struggle leaves an infant, the last of the house of Chao, orphaned. Later adopted by his family’s killer as son and heir, the orphan of Chao discovers the truth about his identity and exacts vengeance for the death of his clan.

Candida, another one of Shaw’s popular and enduring romantic comedies, previews on July 13. Caught in an emotional tug-of-war between her charming socialist vicar husband and her young aristocratic, but penniless poet, Candida must decide which one truly needs her most.

Audience at Festival Theatre

At the Festival Theatre
From May 4 to December 22, Lerner and Loewe’s ever-popular My Fair Lady, the adored adaptation of Bernard Shaw’s play and Gabriel Pascal’s motion picture, Pygmalion, takes centre stage with Kristi Frank as Eliza Doolittle, Tom Rooney as Professor Henry Higgins and David Alan Anderson as Colonel Pickering.

On June 8, One Man, Two Guvnors is a commedia dell’arte-styled comedy about Francis Hensall who is dually employed by petty East End criminal, Roscoe Crabbe, and an upper-class buffoon, Stanley Stubbers. Enjoy the mayhem-filled antics Hensall goes through to keep his “two guvnors” apart in order to prevent discovery.

For the third time, Damien Atkins takes on the role of everyone’s favourite master of deduction and observation in the world premiere of Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of the Human Heart on July 24. This time round, Holmes faces off against a villain so clever that he may have met his match. 

At the Jackie Maxwell Studio Theatre
From June 12 to October 12, The House That Will Not Stand is set in early 19th-century New Orleans where a wealthy free Black woman with three unwed daughters finds herself facing an uncertain future as racial divides widen and society around her begins to change.

Beginning August 8, another classic Chinese tale, Snow in Midsummer follows a young widow Dou Yi who is sentenced to death for a murder she didn’t commit. Adapted from a 13th-century drama from the Yuan Dynasty, this reimagined work is part ghost story, part murder mystery and part family drama.

Speigeltent at Shaw interior

In the Spiegeltent and Elsewhere
A number of unique performances continue the trend begun during the pandemic of tapping the varied talents of members of the Shaw ensemble. The lineup includes a cabaret, a variety show and two musical revues.

Also returning for 2024 are the coffee concerts, jazz speakeasies, gospel choir performances and intimate and interactive songbook events. And the ever-popular A Christmas Carol returns to the Royal George in November, just in time for the 2024 Holiday Season.

For tickets and more information, visit

Celebrate the Holiday Season in Wine Country
A number of events and performances are scheduled to bring the Holiday Cheer to Niagara-on-the-Lake, and you’re invited to take part.

December 1-10: Holiday Market at Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre
December 1: 2023 Candlelight Stroll — a full-day event
December 1 & 2: Rotary Holiday House Tour & Holiday Market at the Riverbrink Museum
December 1 & 2: A Festive Event at St. Mark’s Anglican Church
December 2 & 3: Reif Holiday Market at Reif Estate Winery
December 3: Holiday Market at Ravine Vineyard
December 5: Christmas Classics at The Irish Harp
December 7-9: Holiday Brew Haha Festival at the Brewery Exchange
December 9: Breakfast with Santa at Q124
December 9: Santa Claus Parade
December 9: Beaded Tree Workshop at the Riverbrink Art Museum
December 9 & 10: McFarland House Heritage Christmas
December 17: Annual 5K Santa Run
December 18: Twilight Jazz & Blues Series at The Hare Wine Co.
January 13 & 14: Ice Bar at the Outlet Collection
January 20 & 21 and 27 & 28: 29th Icewine Festival on Queen Street
January 26: Sparkle & Ice Celebration at the Court House

Helpful Tips
Parking is free in Old Town and at Fort George during the month of December.

Did you lose something while you were in Niagara-on-the-Lake? Contact the lost and found centre at the NOTL Chamber of Commerce located at 26 Queen Street in the lower level of the building. Or call 1-905-468-1950 or email for more information.