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TAKE AWAY SHAKESPEARE (article first published : 1999-09-6)

Recently seen at the 1999 Standard Bank National Arts Festival, Antony and Cleopatra is bound to be one of the major attractions at the Hilton Arts Festival on September 18 and 19. It is presented by the Take Away Shakespeare Company, the organisation that took its sell-out success King Lear to Grahamstown (and also to Hilton) in 1998.

The play is directed and edited by James Whyle and features a cast of eight adding the use of masks and special effects to represent many characters. South African theatre heavyweights Sean Taylor and Jana Cilliers play Anthony and Cleopatra respectively. The impressive cast reunites top national actors, some of who shared the stage in early Loft and Napac Drama days - including Greg Melville-Smith and Annie Robinson. Durban audiences will remember Sean Taylor giving a powerful lead performance in Napacís Macbeth directed by Nicholas Ellenbogen and Jana Cilliers most recently played the pivotal role of Maria Callas in the multi-award-winning Master Class.

Others in the cast are Zane Meas, Megan Wilson, Antony Coleman and Gerrit Schoonhoven. Jahn Beukes performs as the percussive messenger. The set, designed by Sarah Roberts, is inspired by Georgia O'Keefe and David Hockney and recreates Rome and Egypt.

Antony & Cleopatra is a set work for senior schools and is recommended viewing for scholars and public alike. There is a special low-price schools performance on September 17 at 12h00. For details contact, Sue/Doreen on (0331) 43-0126.


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