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Shakespeare Birthday Festival at Marloo Theatre

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by Roxy Callaghan (subscribe)
I'm studying journalism at university and I love food, theatre and film.
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Love, hate and ambition never go out of style
William Shakespeare is almost without debate the greatest playwright in the English language. He was born in April, 1564, which makes April 2014 the 450th anniversary of his birth.

Shakespeare, Birthday, 2014, Marloo, Garrick, Kads
William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616)

The Presidents and Executive Committees of the three Hills Theatrical clubs, The Darlington Theatre Players Inc, Garrick Theatre and Kalamunda Dramatic Society are very proud to announce that in order to commemorate this important event the three clubs are combining to produce a repertory-style Festival of three plays, a comedy, a history and a drama.

The festival will run from the first of April, 2014 and alternate between Macbeth, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Othello. Each play will have an evening performance as well as weekend matinees.

The Festival will end on the 26th April, Shakespeare's baptismal day. His birthday is believed to be the 23rd April, co-incidentally the day on which he died in 1616.

Shakespeare, Birthday, 2014, Marloo, Garrick, Kads
Directors Douglas Sutherland-Bruce and Lucy Eyre (Photo by Verge Studio)

The clubs have invited experienced and award-winning directors, Lucy Eyre, Peter Clark (Aida, Jesus Christ Superstar) and Douglas Sutherland-Bruce (Romeo & Juliet, My Fair Lady) to direct the clubs' productions.

All three productions will be performed on the Marloo Theatre stage which will be built as an Elizabethan stage, much in the style of the well-received Romeo and Juliet in 2007.

Shakespeare, Birthday, 2014, Marloo, Garrick, Kads
Director Peter Clark (Photo by Verge Studio)

The three clubs will share the work of building the set under the overall design and control of Richard Coleman; tending the Front of House and the bar. Bookings will be handled by

Shakespeare, Birthday, 2014, Marloo, Garrick, Kads
Richard Coleman's set for "Romeo and Juliet

A joint committee of all three clubs has been set up and has begun work. Official photographers are Verge Studio.

This is an exciting prospect to stretch all and provide clubs, actors, cast and crew with a rich opportunity to learn, entertain and engage.

Auditions will be held during October 2013 and rehearsals will begin in January of 2014.

This venture is believed to be a first in Western Australia.

Festival Director, Douglas Sutherland-Bruce, who is also directing Marloo's entry, Macbeth, says: "It's a slightly terrifying prospect, directing what is arguably the greatest play ever written in the English language. As well as every person in the audience having seen the play at least once before, they've seen it with people like Lord Olivier, Sir Ralph Richardson and Sir Ian McKellan in the part.

"But really I'm not worried about getting actors that can handle the play. We have some incredible acting talent here in the West as we have seen time and again. It's a fantastic opportunity and I'm really looking forward to seeing who auditions."

Asked about the well-known curse that leads actors to call the play 'The Scottish Play' because even to say the name brings down terrible ill-luck, Sutherland-Bruce replied with a laugh: "Don't believe in it - any play performed that often has a fair change of racking up a catalogue of accidents, quite apart from the fact that there are so many fight scenes and opportunities for error. But as long as I've got my lucky rabbit's foot ..."

The West Australian Medieval Alliance is getting involved in the production, bringing a touch of authenticity to the battle scenes.

Bookings open in January 2014, with special rates for school groups.

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Why? The greatest English playwright's greatest plays
When: 2:00pm and $8:00pm
Phone: 6296 5161
Where: Marloo Theatre, Marloo Road, Greenmount, WA
Cost: $20 full, $18 concession
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