You could be forgiven for shying away from Shakespeare and wanting to stick to more easily digestible works played out on stage. Getting to grips with the Elizabethan English can be tough and his often intricate plots are enough to make your head spin. This is where the KL Shakespeare Players (KLSP) come in, a troupe that has been breaking down the Bard’s works for a decade now, most notably in their Shakespeare Demystified series.
To kick off 2020 and celebrate their 10th anniversary, the Players will unravel A Midsummer Night’s Dream, performing canonical scenes of this famous comedy in the original language and stitching it together with contemporary narrative and modern English.
Charmed To Bits
Audiences will be whisked away to the play’s three interconnecting worlds by six actors who will take on all roles and their romantic entanglements. What’s unique about this production is that the Players will also be manipulating 15-inch tall iron-rod puppets to bring to life beings in the magical forest of Fairy King Oberon and Queen Titania. Teochew Opera puppeteer Ling Goh was engaged to help here.
Elsewhere, the troupe collaborated with trance-mask-work exponent Simone Tani to use half-masks to portray the Mechanicals – a collective in the story who perform a play-within-a-play as part of events for Duke Theseus’ wedding. The trance mask technique covers the top half of the face and leaves the mouth free, adding an interesting dynamic to each portrayal.
As always, KLSP artistic director and co-founder Lim Kien Lee oversees from the director’s chair as well as starring in the production.
“KLSP has chosen A Midsummer Night’s Dream because it was the one that kick-started the idea of forming our own local Shakespeare company. In 2010, Jeff Kevin from Australia, with Malaysian actors, directed his take of this work. By staging this in 2020, we commemorate him, our fellow actors who were part of it, and our lineage,” asserts Lee.
Celebrate with KLSP this month and lose yourself in the dream-inciting world of A Midsummer Night’s Dream!
Shakespeare Demystified: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
WHERE Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre, Kuala Lumpur
WHEN 8.30pm (20-22 Feb), 3pm (23 Feb)
ADMISSION RM45, RM55
TEL 03 4047 9000