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Manawatu Summer Shakespeare Presents ANTONY & CLEOPATRA

Directed by Ralph Johnson

Creeping sensuously into Palmerston North comes Manawatu Summer Shakespeare’s Antony & Cleopatra, a tale of politics, betrayal and exotic love in which everyone has an agenda and the limits of the human heart will be tested beyond reckoning.

Performing annually in the Victoria Esplanade, Manawatu Summer Shakespeare features an ever-changing ensemble of local acting talent, many of whom are Shakespeare veterans. Helmed this year by Shakespeare stalwart and award-winning actor and director Ralph Johnson (Waiting for the Principal, Eternity), Antony & Cleopatra is looking to be one of the most successful shows yet, with an ensemble of over twenty highly skilled and enthusiastic Manawatu actors and actresses.

“Much of the cast is made up from members and veterans of previous Summer Shakespeares, which means we’re already familiar with each other… Ralph has an exquisite attention to detail and a real drive to get everyone to their best. He’s also quite fun-loving; rehearsals with him are equal parts intense and goofy.”
- Cameron Dickons, Octavius Caesar

Antony & Cleopatra begins with the titular lovers living together in Egypt, but an uprising against Caesar in Rome forces Antony to return. However, Caesar does not fully trust Antony and begins to scheme behind his back. Cleopatra, meanwhile, is left behind in Egypt, where she sets in motion plans of her own…plans which Caesar may be involved in.

“Cleopatra is a complex and fascinating character. She is ugliness and beauty, vice and virtue… Many stage and film adaptations often portray her as seductive and cruel. But those portrayals of her do not fully capture the queen that once bewitched the western world.”
- Kathleen van Rooyen, Cleopatra

Performed outdoors under the shadow of an Egyptian-style pyramid, Antony & Cleopatra promises to be an enthralling tragedy of epic proportions – men rise and fall, countries deal in the shadows, and when all is said and done, the victor may not be as clear as you think.

“I have found myself with an experienced & enthusiastic production team, which feels such a blessing. In the cast also I feel that same verve …I feel delighted and privileged to be able to build on such a strong platform, to create the next piece of this tradition to enthral this year’s audience.”
- Ralph Johnson, Director

For interviews and enquiries, please contact Zak Rodgers: Publicist

February 28-March 3, March 7-9, 6:30pm, 4:30pm Matinee (4th)
Victoria Esplanade Arboretum
Cost of performance is Koha (donation), No booking required


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