Think Theatre reprises Hamlet and Othello in 2018

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Think Theatre, in association with The Playhouse Company, presents the return of two of The Bard’s greatest tragedies in 2018 – its productions of Hamlet and Othello.

Bryan Hiles as Hamlet with Cara Roberts as Ophelia. Photo by Val Adamson.
Bryan Hiles as Hamlet with Cara Roberts as Ophelia. Photo by Val Adamson.

Acclaimed for its teaching-aid productions of Shakespeare set works for matric school learners, Think Theatre, in association with The Playhouse Company, presents two of The Bard’s greatest tragedies in 2018 – its admired productions of Hamlet and Othello.

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These two plays, which are among the most renowned human dramas ever mounted on the English stage, will run in tandem with successive seasons in Hilton and Durban in February and March 2018, also touring to Gauteng for runs in Johannesburg and Pretoria in May. Pre-bookings are essential. All bookings for Think Theatre’s national tour are through Doreen Stanley on 084 556 0668, Fax: 086 402 9592 or email doreen@thinktheatre.co.za.

Chris Van Rensburg as Iago with Nhlakanipho Manqele as Othello
Chris Van Rensburg as Iago with Nhlakanipho Manqele as Othello

Hamlet and Othello will first play at the Hilton College Theatre in Hilton near Pietermaritzburg between 1 and 9 February, before moving to the Playhouse Drama Theatre in Durban between 12 February and 16 March, with schools performances in each venue from Mondays to Fridays at 9am and 12pm daily.

With its varied themes of racism, love, jealousy and betrayal, Shakespeare’s classic tragedy Othello remains as relevant to present day audiences as it ever was. Multi-award-winning director, writer, teacher and actress Clare Mortimer again directs a star-studded cast to provide an action-packed performance which keeps the audience enthralled… and helps learners to understand and enjoy Shakespeare. With her wealth of experience as a Matric English teacher (both in private and Government schools) Clare has cleverly kept this production (as well as Hamlet) to a manageable 2 hours, closely following all the relevant themes the learners need to know.

Chris Van Rensburg as Iago with Nhlakanipho Manqele as Othello
Chris Van Rensburg as Iago with Nhlakanipho Manqele as Othello

Durban Theatre Award winner Nhlakanipho Manqele reprises his interpretation of the play’s tragic title role, with Cara Roberts returning as his ill-fated young wife, Desdemona. The rest of the cast, headed by Chris van Rensburg with his chilling portrayal of the villainous Iago and Mortimer as his wife Emilia, again features Michael Gritten, Marc Kay, Bryan Hiles, Rowan Bartlett and Darren King.

Often hailed as Shakespeare’s greatest work, Hamlet Prince of Denmark centres on themes of death, betrayal, greed, murder and revenge. Often described as a typical “Revenge Play”, any careful study reveals it to be very much more. Does a good and purposeful life on earth triumph? Are vile and criminal acts always punished? Further, what is the purpose of our lives in the time we are given if decency has the same end as treachery? These questions are valid today – in our homes, our schools and among our leaders. Mortimer once more takes the reins, and audiences can be certain of a complete production, with full sets and costume, and the greatest of care given to the text.

Marc Kay and Cara Roberts in Hamlet (Photograph by Val Adamson)
Marc Kay and Cara Roberts in Hamlet (Photograph by Val Adamson)

Expect to see a few familiar faces and some fresh ones in Hamlet 2017! Multi-award-winner Bryan Hiles takes the title role of the tragic Prince of Denmark, with Cara Roberts as the tragic young heroine, Ophelia. Clare Mortimer plays Hamlet’s mother Gertrude, with Claudius, Hamlet’s treacherous step father, portrayed by Michael Gritten. Hamlet’s friend Horatio is played by Nhlakanipho Manqele with Darren King as Polonius and his son Laertes performed by Marc Kay. The production’s powerhouse casting also includes Chris van Rensburg, Rowan Barlett and Straw Nzimande.

Supported by The University of Johannesburg, Think Theatre’s Hamlet and Othello are invaluable teaching tools with dynamic performance, both educational and entertaining, and are not to be missed. For further information contact Doreen on 084 556 0668 or Margie on 083 251 9412. If they are unable to answer your call please send a text message with your request, your name and your school’s name.

These productions of Hamlet and Othello will play at the University of Johannesburg from 7 to 18 May, and at the Brooklyn Theatre in Pretoria from 21 to 25 May.

Follow Hamlet and Othello on Facebook, and keep up to date with production news at #ThinkTheatreHamlet and #ThinkTheatreOthello on Facebook and Twitter.

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