EVER wondered what happens to some of Shakespeare’s characters after a play ends? What about the Bard himself and his secret love life? What if someone were to hold a seance and summon the Bard’s spirit for a little chat?
If this was an offbeat play, it already has all the qualities of a Shakespearean production with a twist to it.
Tonight at KLPac, seven homegrown directors will present seven original shorts which explores just that – the playful side of the Bard.
The show called Don’t Let Shakespeare Know ( DLSK) will play at Pentas 2 till April 3.
The seven short plays, 10 minutes each, range from an interview with Shakespeare’s spirit, conjured via a traditional Chinese ritual, the famous balcony scene from Romeo And Juliet ( set in Kuala Lumpur) right to poor ol’ Macbeth desperately seeking justice.
In this The Actors Studio Seni Teater Rakyat’s 2016 Shakespeare Festival presentation, the directors are Azov Sim, Easee Gan, Giant Liang, Marina Tan, Mon Lim, Vincent Hau and William Yap. All the scripts were written by the directors.
“DSKL is a playground for seven directors, and by extension others out there, inspired by Shakespeare’s works. People who want to explore, stage and share their ideas,” says Tan, who will be directing herself in Margaret: She- Wolf Of France, Twice Queen Of England.
Tan, who was last seen in U- En Ng’s Marble Hearts, believes that Shakespeare’s works should be pushed beyond the norm.
“The purists might have a problem with it. A more accurate title would probably be Don’t Let The Purists Know but who would pay to come see that?” she adds cheekily.
Gan says that those familiar with the Bard’s works will experience something different and believes DLSK can act as introduction to Shakespeare for those who are new to his works.
Gan’s play The Tempest will be performed in Mandarin and tells the story of Caliban, the main antagonist in the original play, after everyone has left the island.
Yap reckons that the whole premise of DLSK makes Shakespeare’s works more accessible for the masses.
Yap will be directing W( b) itches which sees Macbeth asking for justice in hell as he thinks that his death is caused by the three witches.
“He wants to enter heaven, so he wants to convince the judge that the blame should be on the three witches,” says Yap, who played Ma Wa Liu in Sifu Production’s Lo Mio And Chiu Liet: Forbidden Love In Forbidden City.
Unlike the tragedy that is Macbeth, Yap’s play will be a comedy performed in Mandarin with parts of the original Shakespearean text.
With commemorations galore to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death on April 23, DLSK is a timely entry point for newbies to experience the Bard’s literary legacy. Give or take, a few irreverent twists. Don’t Let Shakespeare Know is on at Pentas 2, Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre ( KLPac), Sentul Park, Jalan Strachan, off Jalan Ipoh in Kuala Lumpur. Showtimes are March 30- April 2 ( 8.30pm) and April 3 ( 3pm). Tickets are priced RM30 ( March 30), RM45 and RM35. For ticketing information, contact 03- 4047 9000 or visit ticketpro. com. my. This is show is part of The Actors Studio Seni Teater Rakyat’s 2016 Shakespeare Festival.
Tan, one of the seven directors of
Don’t Let Shakespeare Know, says the show is a playground to explore and share ideas inspired by shakespeare’s works. — CHAn TAK KOnG/ The star