Channel NewsAsia
Updated: 05/04/2013 23:12 | By Channel NewsAsia

Biggest edition of Shakespeare in the Park

Biggest edition of Shakespeare in the Park

Biggest edition of Shakespeare in the Park

SINGAPORE: It's that time of the year again to whip out your picnic mats and enjoy a night of Shakespeare in the Park.

Into its sixth edition, the Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT) will be presenting one of William Shakespeare's most famous tragedies -- Othello.

It is one of Shakespeare's most well-known tragedies.

While Shakespeare may have written Othello more than 400 years ago, SRT's interpretation of the play will be anything but dowdy.

Bruce Guthrie, Director of Othello, said: "The inspiration of the play has very much come out of modern war movies and modern warfare. The play is set during a conflict between the Turkish fleet and the Venetian fleet and it takes place mainly in Cyprus.

"But we haven't gone and root that in any type of historical context. We've created a very modern world -- you can hear a helicopter taking off in the background, which gives you some idea of the type of language that we're trying to use with the play."

The story centres around war general Othello and his obsessive love for his beautiful wife Desdemona.

The play will take place on a three-storey high set -- the tallest ever used by SRT.

Wendy Kweh, who takes on the role of Desdemona, said: "The park is under-rated because it's outdoors, it's hot, yes. But it's also incredibly romantic and you can bring your beehoon... and sit under the stars and have this experience with us.

"It's a modern setting, so there's no corsets, leggings, no big skirts. But it's incredibly exciting, the set is incredible... And we've rehearsed incredibly hard, and we'd love to share it with you.

Another character to look out for is the villainous Iago -- a role that tests the acting skills of even the most veteran of actors.

Daniel Jenkins, playing Iago, said: "Iago is a huge challenge. It's one of those parts that lots of very famous actors have played and it's a difficult part to play -- the challenge being... finding his motivation and making him real.

"Despite the fact that he is the bad guy, he can't be completely evil and he has to have motivation for doing what he does.

"So it's finding that motivation, finding that reason why he does it.  And as an actor, whatever part you play, you will have to like your character. You have to find something about your character that you can relate to, that you can like.

"So whether he is a bad guy or not, I have to convince myself that the actions he takes are justified, so that I can believe in him carrying these actions out."

So if you're hoping for a night under the stars, Othello runs till May 19.

- CNA/al

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