On the beach with the Bard

Verges (Shawn Macdonald), Dogberry (Simon Bradbury), Oatcake (Allan Morgan) photo: David Blue

Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing and Anthony and Cleopatra are first up on the beach, and with these two, the Bard's off to a good start.

Directors Scott Bellis and Dean Paul Gibson share the cast for these two Shakespearian classics.

As usual, cast members take on roles from both shows, giving you an extraordinary glimpse into the diversity of their talents.

Both plays star the fantastically talented Jennifer Lines as Beatrice (Much Ado) and Cleopatra (A&C).

Lines is phenomenal in her portrayal of both characters, reminiscent of a young Katherine Hepburn at her best. Her conviction and precision are breathtaking.

John Murphy is hilarious as love mocking bachelor Benedick (Much Ado). His timing is impeccable making it hard to take your eyes off him lest you miss a moment of his extraordinary performance.

Then there's Simon Bradbury who's just pure comedy as constable Dogberry (Much Ado). It's worth going if only to watch him negotiate the stairs: hilarious.

Shakespeare can be challenging for even the most seasoned actors. Though individuals may stand out, the supporting cast can be as essential to the theatrical experience, keeping us engaged in the flow of action on stage. The supporting cast is impressive.

Hats off to Simon Bellis for his debut as director. Anthony and Cleopatra isn't exactly a walk in the park, or the beach. It's a daunting play and an enormous feat to pull off.

Dean Paul Gibson is consistently fabulous and hits the mark yet again with Much Ado About Nothing.

It's clear the Bard had a sense of humour, as well heroics. Whatever your taste, there's something for everyone. Catch a show or two and support the local arts. They're worth every penny.


Shows run until September 25, 2010 


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