Summer's double act from the bard

18:25, Dec 05 2012
Peter Taylor as Falstaff from The Merry Wives of Windsor
Peter Taylor as Falstaff from "The Merry Wives of Windsor" gets into his role for Shakespeare in the Park in February.

A Southland cast of 21 has been announced for Shakespeare in the Park in February, with a double bill of Julius Caesar and The Merry Wives of Windsor.

The two 45-minute plays - one tragedy and one comedy - will be performed in Queens Park from February 12 to 17 and will involve the entire company.

In the tradition of the production - which has brought the best of the bard to Invercargill since 2001 - all actors will be taking on at least two roles.

Shakespeare in the Park regulars Hamish McGregor and Feidhlim Hall will direct the production, with assistance from Dunedin director Patrick Davies.

Venture Southland event producer Angela Newell said the show would differ from previous years, with a "fourth wall" taken out for a behind-the-scenes look as the troupe of actors arrives on the park's stage.

This way the audience could experience the entry of the characters, baggage and all.


"Baggage" would be both literal and metaphorical, she said.

"Squabbles and love interests will be in full view, as the company unpack their costumes and props, egos and insecurities."

Based on the conspiracy plot to kill Roman emperor Julius Caesar, the tragedy of the same name was believed to have been performed in 1599 but wasn't published until 1623. With themes of betrayal and power, Julius Caesar is thought to be the first of Shakespeare's plays to be performed at London's Globe Theatre.

The Merry Wives of Windsor - featuring playful deception between the rogue Falstaff and well-to-do ladies who challenge him at his own game - is a humorous look at contemporary manners, thought to have been written in 1599.

The Shakespeare in the Park cast is: Nick Round-Turner, Frank Dean, Lyndal Ludlow, Barrie Sheehy, Katie Patterson, Jayne McAllister, Tim Lindsay, Lee Richardson, Kylie Sheehy, Lindsay King, Glenys Carson, Hayden Barr, Christine Earl, Jonathan Tulett, Natalie Hamill, Samantha Tulett, Heather Christie, Peter Taylor, Craig Waddell, Moira Brew, Lynley McKerrow.

The Southland Times