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.
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:
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