Shakespeare’s life relived
Published On April 9, 2016 » 6948 Views» By Hildah Lumba » Entertainment, Theatre
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Theatre logoANOTHER enlivening and revitalised programme of activities to mark 400 years after the death of legendary British playwright William Shakespeare is  being planned; this time, the British Council is in the forefront in conjunction with one of the lively, energetic and dynamic performing local theatre groups, Barefeet.
The programme starts with a performance of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Kitwe Little Theatre on April 16 beginning at 17:00 hours.
free with further exhibitions set for Lusaka Playhouse and Freshview.
However, the audience is by invitation, and can contact Barney Kanjela on 0955-0967-881147 or this columnist.
Dubbed Shakespeare Lives in 2016 is an unexceptional global programme of events and activities celebrating William Shakespeare’s work on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of his death.
It is an invitation to the world to join in the festivities by participating in a unique collaboration and experiencing the work of Shakespeare directly on stage, and through film and exhibitions. The programme is scheduled to run throughout 2016, exploring Shakespeare as a living writer who still speaks for all people and nations.
Shakespeare will also come alive in film to be shown at Freshview Cinemas at Levy Junction in Lusaka.
Additionally, in commemoration of Shakespeare, there will also be recording of persons reciting their favourite Shakespeare lines.
All the events planned will not be used for profit, but to showcase the culture of Great Britain through art and one of the renowned playwrights, William Shakespeare.
The calendar of events indicates that A Midnight Summer’s Dream opens the programme in Kitwe to be followed by another performance at Lusaka Playhouse on April 23.
Other lined up activities are exhibitions at Fresh-view at subsidised rates and the public will pay K25,00 beginning on April 16 with Romeo and Juliet, on April 17, the play Much ado about nothing will show then Romeo and Juliet will be repeated for free at Evelyn Hone College.
A Midnight Summer’s Dream starts and ends in Medieval Athens at a time when the atmosphere is one of celebration and love, as the Duke, Theseus, prepares to marry the Amazon Queen, Hippolyta.
The action moves to nearby woods, inhabited by fairies. The human beings and the fairies act out a drama in which human emotions become subject to the spells and manipulations of the fairies.
For this programme, the British Council in Zambia in collaboration with the British High Commission Zambia sponsored by The Great Britain Campaign to showcase the various works of William Shakespeare has engaged a Lusaka-based and widely travelled theatre ensemble Barefeet.
Barefeet is a versatile, robust and enthusiastic theatre team that uses various methods to entertain; dialogue, street theatre, song, stories, acrobatics and aims at engaging vulnerable young people, inspiring them to change their lives, and achieve great.
Barefeet leader Taonga Liwewe said with the Shakespeare play which is in the benighted time, the actors have localised the play through song, dance and dialogue with a theme that still remains clearly Shakespearean.
Liwewe said the public will find the play humorous, witty, enjoyable, hilarious and pleasurable hence a mature audience is invited.
A month ago, Bantu Theatre of Kabwe organised a week of activities in remembrance of William Shakespeare.
The event held at Kabwe Christian Centre attracted a few groups, with the climax being the performance of Shakespeare’s abridged series of Merchant of Venice performed by Stephen Lwisha Secondary School.
Merchant of Venice is that rousing drama centered around the 16th-century where the Merchant in Venice defaulted on a large loan provided by an abused Jewish moneylender.
Though classified as a comedy the play is perhaps most remembered for its dramatic scenes.
Shakespeare wrote notably 37 distinguished dramas among the popular ones are; King Lear, Macbeth, Othelo, Henry IV series, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Love’s Labour’s Lost, The Twelfth Night, The Merry Wivies of Windsor, The Tempest, Measurer for Measure, The Comedy of Errors, Anthony and Cleopatra, All’s Well That Ends Well among others.
However, the essence of the programme according to Cyril is that the play performances are free, hence over a combined audience of more than 600 people are expected to watch the play at Kitwe Little Theatre and Lusaka Playhouse besides hundreds of people expected to watch the various activities at Fresh-view cinema.
Meanwhile, Provincial Schools Arts Association of Zambia (SAAZ) are being organised in various schools following the end of the school term that closed on April 8.
For the Copperbelt, the SAAZ festival starts Monday, April 11, at Chingola Secondary School.
In Muchinga Province, the festival was held a fortnight ago at Isoka Secondary School, while North Western and Luapula have intimated they are hosting the festivals during the school holidays. All these festivals will culminate into a national SAAZ festival to be held in Southern Province.
Next week, I intend looking at the forthcoming six-dayMwansabombwe Theatre Festival planned for Mable Shaw Secondary School beginning April 24. – 0955-0977-710975

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