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January 19, 2009

Shakespeare comes to Maynardville


Photo courtesy of Juile70

The Maynardville Open-Air Theatre – currently transformed into the Forest of Arden – is hosting Shakespeare’s As You Like It. Running from 7 January to 14 February 2009, this rollicking comedy is one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays, blending sophisticated wit, rustic wrestling and clever clowning.

The production is directed by lauded Shakespeare director, Geoffrey Hyland (Maynardville: Macbeth 2004, Twelfth Night 2006), who is supported by Dicky Longhurst (costumes), Daniel Galloway (set), William Baker (music), Jay Pather (choreography), and Leigh Anderson (assistant director).  The stars of the show, together with a full cast, are Lika Berning (Rosalind), Gys de Villiers (Duke Senior and Duke Frederick), Astara Mwakalumbwa (Celia), Nicola Hanekom (Phoebe) and Mark Elderkin (Touchstone).

As You Like It is set in the fabled Forest of Arden where fools philosophise, lovers lose their hearts and find themselves, and where – as in all good comedies – good eventually triumphs over evil.

Growing increasingly popular with each year, the Shakespeare-in-Maynardville experience is a must. Go early for the picnic in the park – but don’t forget a blanket as the open-air theatre can get a bit chilly in the evenings, and no one wants to shiver through Shakespeare! 

“The message of this production of As You Like It focuses on love,” says Linette de Kock (publicity, Maynardville Theatre). “It is not very traditional Shakespeare, and is directed, rather, at young people. Everything is young, from the setting to the artists to the flamboyant, colourful costumes and accessible language.”

“The Maynardville Open-Air Theatre is the only theatre in Cape Town where Shakespeare has been performed in the past 44 years,” De Kock continues. “It has a very special atmosphere of its own, and a relaxing picnic on the lawn just makes the whole evening so much more worthwhile. You don’t even have to be a Shakespeare lover to enjoy it!”

Breaking new ground, this Maynardville production marks the launch of a new initiative to salvage the country’s cash-strapped arts industry as the credit crunch hits home. Thanks to BrainBank, a virtual banking network where creative folk exchange skills or currency known as “Talents”, you can essentially swap skills for theatre tickets. Read more about this initiative in The Times.

The show starts at 20:15 and tickets range from R100-R140. Students and pensioners enter at R60 per person, half an hour before the performance. Book at Computicket.


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