TODAY’S – Propeller Theatre celebrates Shakespeare’s 450th at Istanbul festival

Propeller Theatre celebrates Shakespeare’s 450th at Istanbul festival Britain’s Propeller Theatre Company is marking the 450th anniversary of the birth of William Shakespeare with two plays at this year’s Istanbul International Theater Festival. With Edward Hall as its artistic director, the all-male theater company is presenting its multiple award-winning production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and its critically acclaimed “Comedy of Errors” in six performances in total at the Istanbul festival, running until June 5, in its 19th edition.

Propeller’s Istanbul visit is a joint effort between the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV), which organizes the festival, and the British Council. The company is presenting the two plays until August, 2014 as part of its national and international tour Constantly seeking to find more engaging ways of expressing Shakespeare and to more completely explore the relationship between text and performance, Propeller mixes a rigorous approach to the text with a modern physical aesthetic.

The company makes use of various influences — ranging from mask work to animation and classic and modern film and music from all ages — in its productions, billed as “Shakespeare rediscovered.”Propeller’s version of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” has enchanted packed houses all over the world.

Love and illusion collide in the magical play when two pairs of lovers become entangled in fairy mischief on the eve of a royal wedding. Dreams and reality become interchangeable within the romantic chaos that ensues, and misplaced passions are ignited as appearances become ever more deceptive, according to the press release announcing the play.

The first performance of the play at the festival was set for Tuesday night at the Muhsin ErtuIrul Theater in Harbiye. The remaining two performances are on Thursday and Saturday.

Before Saturday evening’s performance, Hall, who directs both of Propeller’s plays on the bill, will receive the 2014 festival’s Theater Honor from festival director Leman YIlmaz. Born in 1966, Hall is the son of Peter Hall, who was the founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC).

A prolific director whose career includes many stints with acclaimed theater companies in the UK, such as the National Theater, where he is currently an associate director, Hall is best known for directing “Rose Rage,” adapted by Hall and Roger Warren from Shakespeare’s three “Henry VI” plays, which he also brought to Turkey in 2002 as part of the 13th Istanbul Theater Festival. Propeller’s second production at this year’s Istanbul festival, “The Comedy of Errors,” will also be staged three times, with an additional performance set for Saturday afternoon and announced on Tuesday.

In it, two sets of estranged twins, separated at birth, find themselves in the same city 25 years later A series of mistaken identities, assumed personas and wild mishaps bring a family crisis so complicated that time itself loses the plot, according to the festival’s website. Billed as Shakespeare’s most hilarious and smartest comedy, it will be staged on Wednesday and Friday at 8:30 pm at the Muhsin ErtuIrul Theater The additional performance is scheduled for Saturday at 3 pm The company’s actors will also hold two workshops for young theater professionals as part of the Istanbul festival.

The first workshop, titled “Movement and Perception,” is set for Friday afternoon at the Muhsin ErtuIrul Theater, and the second one, focusing on the use of music in theater, is set for Saturday morning. Tickets for the plays can be purchased at Biletix.

“The Comedy of Errors” is Propeller Theatre’s second production at this year’s Istanbul festival. (Photo: Manuel Harlan.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman

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