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The stage is set, a giant sheep in sack cloth lumbers onto the simple boards, led there by a kilted porter.
With a flick of the sacking and a spinning action the creature divides to become three haggard witches.
One of the great things about avoiding buying stuff to be more environmental is taking the opportunity to have experiences instead.
So when English language Shakespeare comes to town I’m always very keen.
Even more so when the stage is in the open air.
Important buildings that often become remote rake a very different personae when they form the backdrop to established dramas.
STET is a group that supports English language theatre in this part of The Netherlands and the annual visit of a touring Shakespeare company is one big highlight.
The company, Illyria, has been coming to The Netherlands for many years.
Their performances never fail to combine comedy and tense drama with entertainment and audience surprise.
There are five actors who take the hefty job of performing a play like Macbeth between them. The action is fast and furious as each individual carries a number of roles. It’s also hard to believe how they can leave the stage as one character and return as another within two separate lines.
There’s often music too.
Every time we’ve seen them, I’m quite amazed at their skill and lightening speed. The costume changing in a tent must be frantic.
To add to the great drama, the location contributes sound effects which often compliment the story line. Owls hooting, planes over head, a fox barking, the gentle lake with an occasional splash. The weather was kind this time too.
If you’ve never been to a performance in the open air I’d recommend looking for one as soon as you can.
It’s an adventure in itself, you may need an umbrella, blankets and a flask of hot tea or mosquito spray and a glass of champagne. If I see one advertised I always try to get tickets and have been fortunate enough to find them in Malta on holiday too!
Open air theatre also links back to the original play settings where theatres without electricity performed under the sky with fresh air and the elements as part of their props too.
Amazingly we have Romeo and Juliet in a couple of days from another traveling company. Double Shakespeare, can’t wait!
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