Slings & Arrows (2003-2005)

The real show is backstage.

In the fictional town of New Burbage, legendary theatrical madman Geoffrey Tennant returns to the New Burbage Theatre Festival, the site of his greatest triumph and most humiliating failure, to assume the artistic directorship after the sudden death of his mentor, Oliver Welles. When Geoffrey arrives he finds that Oliver is still there, in spirit anyway, and with his guidance (and often in spite of it) Geoffrey attempts to reconcile with his past while wrestling the festival back from the marketing department. Despite a bitter leading lady, a clueless leading man, and a scheming general manager, he manages to stage a remarkable production of Hamlet — the play that drove him mad. Rachel stars in season 1.


Rachel as: Kate McNab
Other cast: Luke Kirby (Jack Crew), Paul Gross (Geoffrey Tennant), Don McKellar (Darren Nichols), & Mark McKinney (Richard Smith-Jones).
Alternative Title: None
Created by: Susan Coyne, Bob Martin, & Mark McKinney
Production Status: Available on DVD/Blu-Ray/Digital HD
Release: November 3, 2003
Genre: Comedy
Distributor: Acorn Media
Run time: 60 min
Producers: Sari Friedland, Daniel Iron, Niv Fichman, & Laura Michalchyshyn
Original Music by: Ron Sures
Cinematography by: Rudolf Blahacek

» Episode Guide

In-depth episode-guide with information, media and more

Related Media

» View Production stills, posters & key-art, related screencaptures & more » View trailers, movie clips, on-set interviews & more

Production Notes

The series contains real life parallels. For example, Jack Crew (Luke Kirby) was a parallel for Keanu Reeves’s turn as Hamlet in Winnipeg in 1995. The possible parallels with Rachel’s own career didn’t get unnoticed. At the beginning of season 2, Rachel’s character has to Kate decide between pursuing a career in the United States or staying in Ontario to play Juliet. Rachel’s character receives advice from a veteran actor, “dear, Hollywood is not the place for an actress of your calibre.”, which seems a bit of postmodern dialogue that didn’t go unnoticed by Rachel herself. Rachel told the press that it “felt like it was a little tongue-in-cheek.”

Production Process

Filming began early April 2003 in Canada and locations included Toronto Centre for the Arts. The production had a total of 42 filming days with Rhombus Media confirming principal photography has started on April 13, 2003. Filming wrapped late May/early June, 2003. For season 2, Rachel returned for the first episode. While filming “Red Eye”, she took advantage of Thanksgiving (November 25, 2004) to return to Canada to film for one day and returned again after wrapping up “Red Eye” for another day.

Trivia & Facts

  • It’s Rachel’s first recurring role for a television series.
  • Quotes from Cast & Crew

    “Naively I said, ‘I appreciate the fact that there could be people who think she’s going to become a big shot, but I don’t care. If she wants the part, she’s going to have to audition, and she did, she was quite unassuming about all that stuff. And I remember Sarah Polley telling me, ‘The biggest punchline four years from now will be that you auditioned Rachel McAdams.’ It’s a feather in my cap”
    Peter Wellington, director (The Encyclopedia Canadian)

    Critical Reception

    “Rachel McAdams enriched the first season before being spirited away to the big screen for movies.”
    M.R. Dinkins, HDTV Solutions

    Awards & Nominations

    ☆ 2006 Gemini Awards for Best Performance by an Actress in a Guest Role Dramatic Series
    ☆ 2004 Gemini Awards for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Supporting Role in a Dramatic Series

    ★ = win ☆ = nomination | View entire list at IMDB

    View our news archive for the full news feed of this project