Press Release – Summer Shakespeare
This March, one of Shakespeare’s most loved romantic comedies Much Ado About Nothing swings into glorious life. The University of Auckland’s 49th Outdoor Summer Shakespeare once again invites an audience to discover for themselves some of the country’s …
January 16th 2012
Shakespeare under the Stars
AUSA Outdoor Summer Shakespeare presents
William Shakespeare’s MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
Directed by Sam Pascoe
Produced by Oliver Rosser
This March, one of Shakespeare’s most loved romantic comedies Much Ado About Nothing swings into glorious life. The University of Auckland’s 49th Outdoor Summer Shakespeare once again invites an audience to discover for themselves some of the country’s brightest emerging talent against a magical and iconic backdrop – the beautiful University Clocktower from March 3rd.
Much Ado About Nothing is a light-hearted romp that follows the fortunes of two pairs of lovers: Beatrice and Benedick, staunch advocates of singledom, and their comrades Claudio and Hero, whose sweet and innocent love for each other renders them virtually speechless. Much mirth, mayhem and mischief inevitably ensue…
Just one year from its Golden Anniversary, the Outdoor Summer Shakespeare again welcomes acclaimed NZ actor and noted Shakespearian, Michael Hurst, in the role of production advisor, as he mentors talented young director Sam Pascoe (Breaking Legs Theatre Co).
Pascoe and his team see their audience transported to post-World War 2 England in the Golden Age of the ’40s, where ‘swing was the thing’. A live band, in its own rotunda, will add period colour with catchy ragtime tunes (composed by Celeste Oram), accompanying era-appropriate song and dance. It is Shakespeare; twisted, perhaps, but traditional in its interpretation and highly accessible in its language.
Working in the open air places huge demands on any actor and it will be no different for the talented ensemble of 16 assembled for this production. Having these challenges met is what gives the Outdoor Summer Shakespeare its unique place in Auckland’s theatre scene, as well as providing many aspiring young actors, directors and stagehands a platform from which to launch their careers.
Indeed, the Outdoor Summer Shakespeare has long been a breeding ground for some of the country’s top theatrical talent. Past players have included Lisa Harrow (who later performed for the Royal Shakespeare Company opposite Dame Judi Dench), ex-MP Richard Prebble, actor/director Oliver Driver and Michael Hurst himself.
Since its first production of Hamlet in 1963, AUSA’s Outdoor Summer Shakespeare has been a highlight of the Auckland theatre calendar. Do not miss the aligning of these stars – join the Bard, the lovers, the soldiers and the band as they walk out under the night sky to deliver Much Ado About Nothing.
Starring; Jess Bates, Chris Bryan, Alex MacDonald, Natalie Braid, Craig Serventy, Luke Thornborough.
Much Ado About Nothing plays
3rd to 24th March 2012 (with Sundays and Mondays off)
The University of Auckland, University Clocktower Lawn
Tickets: $25 – $18
Bookings through Maidment Theatre (09) 308 2383 or www.maidment.auckland.ac.nz
Running time: 7.30 to 10pm with a 15-min interval