The award-winning South African premiere production of the enchanting romantic comedy SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE returns from 14 August to the Fugard Theatre due to overwhelming demand. Eric Abraham presents this Fugard Theatre production of SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE which was a runaway success last year, playing to sold-out houses and critical acclaim from reviewers and audiences alike.
Written by Lee Hall and adapted from the Academy Award-winning (1999) screenplay by Tom Stoppard and Marc Norman, the comedy ran for an extended sold-out season at the West End's Noel Coward Theatre in London in 2014.
SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE features a stellar cast of 21 actors including the return of the loveable fur-actor Bogart as Spot the Dog, who captured the hearts of all who saw the show. The play is directed by the Fugard Theatre’s resident director Greg Karvellas (The Road to Mecca, The Father, Clybourne Park, Bad Jews, CHAMP).
Robyn Scott recently won the Fleur du Cap Theatre Award for Best Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Play for her role as Elizabeth I. The production was also nominated for Best Performance by an Ensemble, Best Lighting Design for Wolf Britz and Best Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Play for Darron Araujo as Henslowe.
Stepping into the role of Will Shakespeare is Daniel Mpilo Richards who has been dazzling audiences as Bernardo the leader of the Sharks in the Fugard Theatre’s West Side Story (also Aunty Merle the Musical, State Fracture, Pay Back the Curry); with the return of Roxane Hayward (Accident, Blood Drive, Saints and Strangers) as Viola de Lesseps and Cape Talk’s John Maytham as Fennyman.
Multiple award-winner Robyn Scott (London Road, Elizabeth 1- Almost By Chance a Woman) stars as Queen Elizabeth and Jason K. Ralph (The Phantom of the Opera (World Tour), Chicago) as Lord Wessex; Nicholas Pauling (The Father, A Steady Rain, Clybourne Park) as Ned Allen; Sven Ruygrok (The Mother, Epstein, Spud) as Sam and Mark Elderkin (Twelfth Night, Champ) as Burbage. Darron Araujo (CHAMP, The Taming of the Shrew) performs the role of Henslowe; Adrian Collins (Bench, King Lear) as Ralph; Walter van Dyk (Arms and the Man [Watford Palace Theatre UK], A Flea in her Ear [Old Vic Theatre] UK) as Tilney; Pierre Malherbe (CHAMP, The Kingmakers) as Nol; Lucy Tops (Funny Girl, The Rocky Horror Show, Bar None) as Nurse; Dean Balie (Orpheus in Africa, Kat and the Kings) as John Webster and Louis Viljoen (The Play That Goes Wrong, The Frontiersmen) as Mr Wabash.
Completing the ensemble are Alex Tops (The Rocky Horror Show, Bar None) as Robin; Kathleen Stephens (The Taming of the Shrew, Nasty Womxn) as Mistress Quickly; Rendani Mufamadi (Confession Sessions, Footloose the Musical) as Lambert and Rachel Mertens who returns to the Ensemble.
Set Design is by Paul Wills (King Kong, A Human Being Died That Night), Costume Sourcing and Styling is by Birrie le Roux (King Kong, West Side Story) and Widaad Albertus (The Demon Bride,The Eulogists) with Lighting Design by Wolf Britz (Die Seemeeu; Wie's Bang vir Virginia Woolf?). Sound Design is by David Classen (District Six Kanala) with Resident Musical Director of the Fugard Theatre Charl Johan Lingenfelder (West Side Story, King Kong, Funny Girl, Cabaret). Choreography is by Kristin Wilson (Salome, Midsummer Night’s Dream) with Fight Choreography by Jon Keevy (Othello, Hamlet).
The story: Young Will Shakespeare has writer's block... the deadline for his new play is fast approaching but he is in desperate need of inspiration. That is, until he finds his muse – Viola. This beautiful young woman is Will’s greatest admirer and will stop at nothing (including breaking the law) to appear in his next play.
Against a bustling background of mistaken identity, ruthless scheming and backstage theatrics, Will’s love for Viola quickly blossoms and inspires him to write his greatest masterpiece.
Media comments about the South African premiere included:
‘FIVE STARS - Superlative theatre....a delight from start to finish’ - Beverley Brommert, Cape Argus
‘It’s fair to imagine the Bard himself feeling FOMO about this production.....Black Adder meets the Bard in this extremely entertaining – and very clever – adaptation.’ - Karen Rutter, Weekend Special
‘Die stuk se tikkie malligheid spoel oor na die gehoor. Dis jolig en feestelik. 'n Mens kry sommer lus en dans 'n Shakesperiaanse vastrap op maat van luitmusiek’ - Mariana Malan, Die Burger
‘Sit back, laugh and have fun. A wonderful play to watch’ -Marina Griebenow, Cape Talk
‘Shakespeare in Love captivates…romantic, dramatic, comedic, exaggerated fun…a fun night out at the theatre’ - Barbara Loots, TheatreSceneCpt
‘Jy wil amper nie opstaan vir die kort pouse nie, want die geloofwaardige herskepping van Elizabethaanse tye wil jy vir ’n wyle langer geniet. Kry sommer al jou vriende en familie om saam te gaan kuier’ - Maryke Roberts, Litnet
‘We’re smitten with this local production of Shakespeare in Love… The two leads' chemistry pops...….made me laugh and cry at exactly the right moments’ – Alex Isaacs, Channel 24
Tickets from R150 to R350 can be booked through the Fugard Theatre box office on 021 461 4554 or through the Fugard Theatre’s website.