The bard’s vil­lains still shine

The Tribune (NZ) - - PERFORMANCE -

Bard Af­ter Dark Directed by Aaron McLean for Shake Alive UCOL Per­form­ing Arts Stu­dio May 12 – 14 Re­viewed by Richard Mays

Four hun­dred years af­ter his death and the Bard of Avon is still en­thralling au­di­ences and per­form­ers.

The lat­est lo­cal Shake­spearean so­journ is a classy pas­tiche of per­ora­tions from an ensemble of Willy the Shake’s ‘axis of evil’.

It’s an ef­fec­tively mood-lit and staged as­sem­blage of su­pervil­lains fea­tur­ing Richard III whose char­ac­ter links sev­eral other short scenes where machi­avells Don John from Much Ado About Noth­ing, Iago from Othello, Aaron from Ti­tus An­dron­i­cus, Ed­mund from King Lear, Claudius from Ham­let, An­gelo from Mea­sure For Mea­sure and Lady Mac­beth plot and scheme.

Evil has no par­tic­u­lar gen­der, with Brie Shaw in hooded cloak and crutches com­pelling as Richard III, while Kerri Ni­chol­son plays a per­sua­sive Ed­mund.

All mem­bers of the seven per­son ensemble con­trib­ute co­he­sively as Shake­speare’s crea­tures both great and small, with the scenes mov­ing flu­ently and at pace.

Who knew such com­bined vil­lainy could prove to be so fas­ci­nat­ing and sat­is­fy­ing.

If this new gen­er­a­tion of young Shake­spearean per­form­ers is any­thing to go by, the Bard re­mains in great hands.

Who knew such com­bined vil­lainy could prove to be so sat­is­fy­ing.

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