Love's Labour's Lost, Carving in Ice Theatre Company

The first Shakespeare production to be put on by Carving Ice Theatre.

“A King & his 3 best friends swear off women for three years. What will happen when a Princess & her 3 best friends comes to visit? Can the men possibly resist the women? Will the women ever accept the vows of foolish men?

Shakespeare’s seldom performed romcom takes us to the Kingdom of Navarre where the quest to be in love, & speak from your true heart is marked by flirting, fooling, hunting & composing love poems. Along the way expect some 'sudden breakings-out of mirth' and the longest word in English 'honorificabilitudinitatibus'.” – Carving Ice website

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Lucrece, The Auckland Shakespeare Company

The hotly anticipated debut from the Auckland Shakespeare Company is here. Lucrece is a reimagining of Shakespeare's darkest poem, The Rape of Lucrece. Working from the original text, four actors take you on the heart stopping journey of Lucrece, the chaste wife of a noble lord, who is sexually violated in her own home by Tarquin, a Roman prince. As a result she commits suicide and her body is paraded through the streets of Rome.    

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Shylock, Theatre Tours International

Told from the perspective of Shylock's friend Tubal, 'Shylock' presents one of Shakespeare's most controversial characters in a fresh light.

“Villain, victim, or is Shylock someone more intriguing? Celebrating Bill-400, Guy Masterson returns with his extraordinary, multi-award winning examination of Shakespeare's controversial Jew in one of the most successful globally acclaimed shows of the last two decades!” (description from the Edinburgh Fringe Programme)

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The Shadow King, Malthouse Theatre

The Shadow King, Malthouse Theatre

This production relocated King Lear from ancient Britain to the Northern Territory, Australia, thus establishing a thought-provoking link between Lear's disastrous division of his kingdom and land ownership and social reform in Australia, following the first Land Rights Act of 1976. The concern with land was powerfully conveyed by the red sand that covered the vast expanses of the stage of the Barbican theatre. The gigantic road train that towered over the stage was a painful reminder of the environmental and social ravages caused by intensive mining in the region. The exploitation of the land goes against the Aboriginal belief that we do not own the land, but that the land owns us. Another exciting aspect of this production was the blending of Shakespeare's lines with Kriol and other Aboriginal languages which, along with live singing and live music on stage, evoked the soundscape of the Northern Territory.

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Coriolanus, Burning House Theatre

"The Tragedy of Coriolanus sometime seems to lie forgotten amongst the other tragedies in the Shakespearean canon. Upon an initial read, it’s easy to see why. At first glance Caius Marcius Coriolanus is thoroughly unlikeable. He is seen to be mean, arrogant and self-centred. We are given no clear antagonists, the play’s politics seem to lean a little too much to the right, and despite some excellent speeches, the language doesn’t seem to have struck the same chord that Hamlet or Macbeth does. Coriolanus is unique amongst Shakespearean heroes because he is not good at expressing himself. He does not deem us unworthy of his emotions or his thoughts, he is literally unable to share them.

Because of this, he, and the play that bears his name, have become deeply understood. He has become known as a tyrant, an arrogant, emotionally stunted child. Brecht called Coriolanus a tragedy because the hero was unable to grow. Olivier drew his inspiration from Mussolini in his playing of the character. Beyond his military qualities, his virtues tend to be overlooked. He is dedicated to self-improvement in a way that compares to no other character in English literature. He cares deeply for his family and friends, and refuses to compromise his moral system. This concept of self-improvement, of committing to oneself to the altitude of one’s virtue, is the beating heart of this play. Rome is tearing itself to shreds in its effort to better itself. It a play about compromise and commitment, of ascendance and acceptance. Make of it what you will." — Robert Johnson  

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King Lear, Circa Theatre

"Circa Theatre celebrates its 40th anniversary with a brand new production of Shakespeare’s stunning tragedy King Lear. Acclaimed Shakespearean director Michael Hurst takes the helm while the title role is played by one of New Zealand’s theatre legends, Ray Henwood

King Lear cuts to the heart of the human condition, traversing the raw landscape of passion, sorrow, cruelty, love and redemption. An ageing king, mistaking false praise for love, makes a terrible decision that destroys his family and plunges his kingdom into chaos.

Four hundred years after Shakespeare’s death, Hurst, renowned for his compelling interpretations, throws a unique lens over the story, describing it as “a lean and muscular play that demands the utmost of its actors.”

There will be no hiding, no tricks, just high-octane acting in a timeless landscape of despair. Howl! Howl! Howl!" -Circa Theatre website

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SolOTHELLO, Te Rēhia Theatre Company

One man’s hilarious interpretation of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy. Māori Performance Mask (Te Mata Kokako o Rēhia) comes to life as Regan Taylor unfolds an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Othello as a solo performance.  SolOTHELLO weaves together Shakespeare’s original prose, modern English and Te Reo Māori to deliver a dynamic and cheeky interpretation of one of history’s more tragic plays.

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