There's just one week left to catch SHAKESPEARE'S QUEENS And THE MADNESS OF KING LEAR, the audacious Shakespeare adaptations from Australia at London's Arts Theatre. These two plays fascinated audiences at this year's Edinburgh Festival and are now together in London's West End as the two halves of Double Bill: SHAKESPEARE'S QUEENS and THE MADNESS OF KING LEAR.
Kath Perry is receiving rave reviews as Elizabeth I, and here we must point out an extraordinary similarity between the flaming haired Australian actress who delivers Shakespeare's monologues on being a woman in power, and Australia's flaming haired prime minister whose recent monologue on misogyny in politics was worthy of a Shakespearean tragedy!
Following the London run, the shows will tour to Rome, Tokyo and New York.
The immediate legacy of the World Shakespeare Festival is upon us...audiences want more Shakespeare!
And it's not just London audiences - from the West End (Roger Rees in What You Will), Stratford (Kathryn Hunter in A Tender Thing) to Ambridge (in The Archers there's currently a 'play within a play' storyline as Ambridge's finest are set to star in a Shakespeare's best bits show) and the Schools Shakespeare Festival, everybody loves to experience Shakespeare re-invented.
The double bill of SHAKESPEARE'S QUEENS And THE MADNESS OF KING LEAR is running from 16 October – 3 November 2012. Showtimes are Monday to Saturday at 7.30pm; Saturday and Thursday matinees at 2.30pm at the Arts Theatre, Great Newport Street, London WC2H 7JB. Tickets are priced from £16.50 – £28.50, Previews £15. The Box Office reached at 020 7836 8463. Visit www.artstheatrewestend.co.uk and www.double-bill.com for more information!
SHAKESPEARE'S QUEENS is by Kath Perry, Directed by Roz Riley, Performed by Rachel Ferris, Patrick Trumper and Kath Perry, Set design by Kasper Svenstrup Hansen, Costumes by Sarah Cogan, Sound design by George Cartledge, Lighting Design by Stephen Dean.
In SHAKESPEARE'S QUEENS, the three biggest celebs of the Tudor dynasty – Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots and Shakespeare – meet for the first time after they are all dead. Mary and Elizabeth are still arguing furiously over who ruled best and that unfortunate incident with the axe… Caught in the middle, Shakespeare must summon all the queens of his plays – from the She-wolf of France to the Serpent of the Nile – to help settle the dispute. It's a witty dash through nineteen queens from seventeen plays in sixty minutes, but contains a unique exploration of Shakespeare's older female characters.
SHAKESPEARE'S QUEENS by Kath Perry is the follow-up to her play SHAKESPEARE'S MOTHERS: MAD, BAD, AND DANGEROUS TO KNOW which toured internationally in 2010. SHAKESPEARE'S QUEENS is directed by Roz Riley (Artistic Director, Factory Space Sydney) and performed by Rachel Ferris (TV credits include Deadly Women, Home and Away), Patrick Trumper (TV credits include All Saints, Police Rescue and Farscape), Kath Perry (stage credits include Noah's Ark and An Ideal Husband in London and Iron and Dancing at Lughnasa in Sydney).
THE MADNESS OF KING LEAR is Directed by Sarah Fernandez Reyes, Performed by Leofric Kingsford-Smith and Lucas R. Tsolakian, Set and Costumes by Kasper Svenstrup Hansen, and Lighting Design by Stephen Dean.
THE MADNESS OF KING LEAR is a spiritual and explosive interpretation of Shakespeare's tragedy, fused with physical theatre. Lear and the Fool emerge from a spirit world and the play takes on a double narrative that explores both the events of Shakespeare's story and the continuing relationship between King and Fool.
This new adaptation takes inspiration from the traditional Elizabethan acting style of physical exaggeration. The events and emotions of Lear's life are given physical interpretation by the Fool – who clowns and dances through the famous speeches of the play. But it is Lear speaks for all the characters, with his own reflective interpretation of the words. The result is an explosion of emotion, comedy and tragedy – as the Fool provokes Lear's catharsis.
Both mad and playful, this is King Lear as you've never seen it before. Performed by Leofric Kingsford-Smith (STV's Underbelly, Crownies, Home and Away), Lucas R. Tsolakian (Avignon Le Off, The Performers Inc.) and Directed by Sara Fernandez Reyes (Hotel Medea, Edinburgh and Festival of the World).