Shakespeare in the Park returns to the stage

When the Workshop Players take the stage for 2017’s edition of “Shakespeare in the Park”, look forward to four nights of laughter, murder, romance, and horror surrounded by all that is magical. WSP’s annual “Shakespeare in the Park Festival” opened to a successful run last year with performances of “Othello”, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “The Merchant of Venice”.

The Workshop Players, one of Sri Lanka’s foremost English theatre groups, is famed for bringing some of the best of Broadway musicals and theatre such as ‘Oliver!’, ‘The Sound of Music’, ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, ‘Evita’, ‘The Phantom of the Opera’, ’Les Misérables’, and, most recently, Arthur Miller’s ‘A View From The Bridge’ to the local stage.

This year too, WSP explores the realm of magic and the supernatural with “Macbeth” and “The Tempest”.

Shakespeare’s only Scottish play, Macbeth introduces audiences to one of the Bard’s most human, morally conflicted villains and his most famous female characters.

Directed by Rehan Almeida and Thushara Hettihamu, their production offers both students and theatre lovers an in-depth look at the rise and fall of Shakespeare’s most diabolic couple set against an unusual backdrop at Ape Gama in Battaramulla. Theatregoers can look forward to witnessing the play in its purest form with a refreshing twist. The dynamic power play between husband and manipulative wife will be the play’s focal point, while the visual and physical elements blanket the theatregoer in suspense and the supernatural amidst the familiarly Sri Lankan surroundings of the rustic venue.

Joining Hettihamu and Almeida as directors for this year’s edition are Nishantha de Silva and Ishtartha Wellaboda, directing “The Tempest”, a guest production by AnandaDrama. With many years of directing Shakespeare behind them, putting on a full length production of “The Tempest” was a long awaited dream for the two directors, who are best known for their original work.Taking Shakespeare’s last play, the duo want to create an immersive atmosphere for the audience. Theatre-goers will find themselves amidst a unique setting, ready to absorb the energetic, dreamlike play while being privy to the very serious themes underlying this play set on a magical, unknown island, with a cast of unique and fascinating characters.

Shakespeare in the Village 2017: MACBETH will be held on 25th & 26th March at 7.00 p.m. at ‘Ape Gama’, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, and Shakespeare in the Park 2017: THE TEMPEST will take place on 1st & 2nd April 2017 at 7.00 p.m. at the Viharamahadevi Open Air Theatre. Entrance is free.


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