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Shakespeare in Love at The Fugard Theatre
Romeo and… Ethel, the Pirate’s Daughter
“We may indeed be rivals in art but we are jointly despised as vagrants, tinkers, peddlers of bombast” - Richard Burbage, Shakespeare in Love.
The key to a good play is threefold; direction, actors and script. If you haven’t already heard, the Fugard Theatre’s production of Shakespeare in Love combines all three these elements into one thrilling and hilarious stage production that, lucky for you, is still running at the space in District Six.
We aren’t in the game of spoilers, so don’t expect any juicy details on the story; you’ll have to watch the play for that, but we will give you some context. William Shakespeare has writer’s block and with two plays on his commission list, he needs to get his quill to paper and start working on a masterpiece. Times two. But then he is struck with cupid’s arrow and becomes transfixed by a Lady Viola de Lesseps who, coincidently, happens to be his biggest fan. She is betrothed to another though, but William will be damned if he loses her. The Queen is involved too, as is a very adorable dog, and all come together in a theatrical masterpiece.
Now you’ve got the lay of Will Shakespeare’s land, let’s have a closer look at the characters behind the play that has been hailed as “[An] extremely entertaining – and very clever – adaptation”, according to Karen Rutter on WeekendSpecial.co.za.
SIX CAST MEMBERS THAT LEND SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE ITS HILARITY AND CHARM
ROBYN SCOTT: Cast as Queen Elizabeth and Kate the courtesan, Robyn Scott portrays true comedic genius throughout the play. Her facial expressions are something straight out of Blackadder and the comedic timing she brings to the role is excellent. We see Queenie only a few times, but those times are utterly memorable.
DARRON ARAUJO: Anyone who has seen any classic British comedy will find Araujo a fabulous addition to the cast. Channeling his inner Basil Fawlty, Araujo makes his character of Henslowe a hugely relatable personality. The trials and tribulations we see him go through just make the audience love him even more.
MARK ELDERKIN: Cast as Richard Burbage, owner of The Rose Theatre, Elderkin is in competition with Henslowe throughout the play. These actors go into battle with verse and rhyme, leaving them to call an uneasy truce at one point in the play.
LUCY TOPS: Viola’s nurse, known simply as Nursey, is both a trusted companion to the leading lady and the source of some of the sharpest and quickest wit in the play. She helps her mistress through all kinds of trouble, making sure to remind people of what her mother used to say. Nursey manages to remain on almost everyone’s good side. Mostly.
NICHOLAS PAULING: The star of the show – well, certainly in his own mind – is Ned Alleyn. Will has to simultaneously placate his usual lead while still making sure his actual lead is fulfilling his full role. Alleyn enters with a full entourage and brings Romeo and Ethel the Pirate's Daughter to life with his indestructible self confidence and suave nature.
JASON K. RALPH: And so we have our villain. Lord Wessex is Viola de Lesseps’ intended husband, and his dislike of her personality makes the match a little less than ideal. Ralph brings in a strength of character and tenacity, making his depiction of the role (made famous by Colin Firth) a perfect reinvention of the film character.
This production of Shakespeare in Love runs in Cape Town until Saturday, 25 November 2017, which means there are only a limited number of shows left for you to see this must-see production!
TICKETS TO THE 2017 PRODUCTION OF SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE
Tickets are available online via Computicket.co.za and range from R130/p to R320/p, depending on which evening you choose to attend, and your seat selection. Most stagings start at 8pm, with some matinee performances starting at 4pm.
For more information, please contact the Fugard Theatre directly on +27 (0)461 4570 or visit their website: Thefugard.com.