It’s been 400 years since William Shakespeare’s death in 1616 on his 52nd birthday and festivals, exhibitions and performances are being arranged around the world to celebrate his legacy.
BY TAWANDA TADERERA
To commemorate this event, Reps Theatre will stage excerpts from some of Shakespeare’s best-known plays, together with four sonnets under the title Pieces of Shakespeare.
The production will be open on Tuesday and will run until Saturday.
It features a cast consisting of established and young actors who are having their first experience of performing the work of Shakespeare.
The event is not a traditional performance of Shakespeare in the sense of using Shakespearian dress and scenery; the actors will wear their everyday clothes and the stage will be plain, relying on lighting for effects rather than a complex set.
The production will include excerpts from four plays that are currently school set-books — Othello, Antony and Cleopatra, The Merchant of Venice and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Apart from commemorating Shakespeare himself, the objective of the production is to give audiences new to Shakespeare an insight into his productions and plots.
Plots such as The Merchant of Venice in particular, reflect social attitudes that were prevalent then but are unacceptable today.
Zane E Lucas, a well-known director and actor who has been part of Harare theatre for a number of years, will be the director.
He will bring his own unique style to Pieces of Shakespeare and has emphasised that the essence of Shakespeare’s plays lies not in the actor but in the acting and the presentation of the story.
Reps’ aim in staging the production is meant to encourage a greater appreciation and understanding of Shakespeare.