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VENTURAS HAMLET (article first published : 2000-07-19)

So far Durban's seen several versions of Hamlet, the most recent was the production with Albanian translation by Fan S Noli for the National Theatre of Prishtine Kosova/Tetre Kombetar which was directed by David Gothard and performed in the Playhouse Opera.

Themi Venturas Productions will present their interpretation of Hamlet, which is this year’s matric setbook, at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre from July 27 to August 12. Although specifically devised with young people in mind and aimed at making the play as accessible as possible to a modern audience, the 90-minute multimedia show will be concise yet comprehensible. The producers will repeat the successful method used in last year's interpretation of Anthony and Cleopatra of video clips, overhead projection and other modern technology, resulting in a fast-paced and exciting show.

Director Peter Court's interpretation of Hamlet is set in the modern cut-and-thrust corporate world and the study of human nature is as relevant now as it was when Shakespeare first penned the script. Playing Hamlet will be South African born Steven Stead who recently performed the same role to rave reviews in Cambridge, UK. Stead has returned to South Africa especially for this production.

Also in the 12-member cast is Vita Award nominee Belinda Henwood (recently seen in Popcorn) who plays Ophelia, Mari Visagie as Gertrude and Angus Douglas as Claudius. An interesting aspect of the casting is that actress Krijay Govender will play the male role of Horatio.

The show opens on July 27 at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre using the set of The Guitar that Rocked the World, Themi Venturas’s other production currently running in the theatre. It will run until August 12. Performance times are 09h00 and 11h00 are mainly for schools but there are matinee performances at weekends. Tickets R38 (R19 scholars). Teachers accompanying their pupils qualify for one free ticket for every 20 children in the group.

Advance booking is advisable. Contact Sharon on 083 292-5324 or (031) 572-3903.




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