Welcome to this week’s Speak the Speech with all your Shakespeare performance news! This post comes to you in two parts, part I from me and part II from Rory. Check out some of these productions before the summer is out, in my section you’ll find some new August happenings and some reminders to catch summer shows before they close. Rory’s section highlights some exciting productions happening a bit further afield than his usual features. Check out all the Shakespeare happenings below!
Allentown Shakespeare in the Park opens their production of Othello for two nights, Friday August 8th and Saturday August 9th. Admission is free and there will be live music and food one hour before the show. Check out their facebook page for more details.
Richmond Shakespeare in Virginia is in the middle of their run of Richard III. The production is in honor of the recent exhumation of the titular king and runs through August 3rd. The venue has some lovely outdoor seating and picnics are encouraged.
Still going on up in Lennox, Massachusetts at Shakespeare & Company is the one woman show Shakespeare’s Will told from the point of view of Anne Hathaway, Shakespeare’s wife. The show explores Anne’s life and her marriage to Shakespeare set just after his funeral. The Shakespeare’s enigmatic wife who inherited the “second-best bed” is performed by Kristin Wold. The show finishes its run on August 24th, so catch it before the month is out. Hudson Shakespeare Company will be continuing their season with a touring production of Pericles visiting various sites in New Jersey, and even one date in Connecticut. The show will run from August 7th through August 23rd.
Featured a few weeks ago, Rubber City Shakespeare in Akron, Ohio is holding auditions on August 8th for their Fall 2014 season of Taming of the Shrew and John Ford’s ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore. If you’re interested in working with this young and up-and-coming company check out their website for more details.
Pardon, gentles all, this flat unraisèd spirit, who hasn’t posted in almost six weeks. While I promised when I started contributing to this column that I would bring a strong regional bias to our listings, that hasn’t proven the case this week, as some of the most notable productions currently running are very far afield from me in southern Ontario. I hope readers will take this as an opportunity to add to the comments, giving any information on productions nearby. Let’s see who’s tripping the boards this week.
Mr. Smith in the Scottish Play
Opening last week, Hugo Weaving (best known to science fiction fans as Mr. Smith in The Matrix, to fantasy fans as Elrond in The Lord of the Rings, and to connoisseurs of camp as Tick in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) has been receiving rave reviews for his turn in the title role of Kip Williams’ production of Macbeth for the Sydney Theatre Company. The play is staged with the audience onstage, and the auditorium of the theatre as set and backdrop. And get this: the entire production is sold out. Limited numbers of rush tickets will be released on a day-by-day basis.
If any Shakespeare Standard readers are going, please consider submitting a review.
Dreaming in Dublin
An equally impressive – if more traditional – backdrop is Fire in the Mouth’s Dublin Castle setting for their production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which opened last week and runs until August 3rd. I know it’s short notice, but it’s a fantastic venue, and tickets are six Euros, so I’d be remiss not to mention it.
Benedick, Prince of Denmark?
The Lord Chamberlain’s Men were no strangers to touring, and neither are their twenty-first century heirs at the Globe Theatre. Max Webster’s production of Much Ado About Nothing is on the road, and August 1-10 sees them performing at Kronborg Castle in Denmark. The venue is impressive – as is the pedigree of the Shakespeare Festival at Hamlet’s Castle – but what I find most intriguing is the casting: every role except Benedick and Don Pedro is doubled.
Two Gentlemen of Texas
The Houston Shakespeare Festival is mounting productions of Two Gentlemen of Verona and Henry IV. If I seem a bit terse on the subject, it’s because their website is less forthcoming than it might be. Two Gentlemen opens August 3rd and plays on the 5th, 7th, and 9th. Henry opens on the 6th, with shows on the 8th and 10th. All shows start at 8:30 PM. Key information about tickets (free, but reservation required) and interviews with the creative team can be found in Houston Chronicle coverage of the festival’s 40th anniversary.
That’s all for this week! If there is a Shakespeare production, performance, audition, review, or festival let us know about it so I can feature it here. If you like what you see, like or share us on Facebook and follow us on Tumblr, or Twitter. If you really like what you see please consider donating.