Arts & Culture

Sadly, Manila Audiences Are Not Ready for Shakespeare, As U.K.-Based Rose Theatre Cancels Shows

Shakespeare fans will have to wait to enjoy the grand productions of these classic tales.
IMAGE COURTESY OF CONCERTUS MANILA
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UPDATED (9/13/19): This month, two of Shakespeare's classic stories were slated to be staged by the U.K.-based company, Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre. A staging of A Midsummer Night's Dream and Macbeth were supposed to charm Manila audiences at the Theatre at Solaire this month. As much as the plays stirred excitement among theater fans and bookworms alike, it is with great sadness that today, the theater company announces the cancellation of the Manila production. 

“The publicity we have achieved from the media in Manila is unbelievable and we are immensely grateful for that, but sadly this has not translated into ticket sales, and despite an intense and costly marketing campaign, we have not been able to sell anywhere near the number needed to make the project financially viable," expresses James Cundall, CEO of producer Lunchbox Theatrical Productions and founder of Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre.

The theater company had previously staged two summer seasons in the U.K. with a full cast of 150 people, achieving outstanding reviews from the press. 

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Ticket-holders seeking a refund should contact TicketWorld by calling 891.9999 or emailing [email protected]

A scene from Macbeth

ORIGINAL: Two of William Shakespeare’s most beloved works, the tragic tale of Macbeth and the romantic comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream, will be retold by a U.K.-based theater company on the Manila stage. Marking its international debut, one-year-old Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre Company is bringing the Bard’s timeless classics to life in a series of nine shows from September 17 to 22 at the Theatre at Solaire.

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The production will be brought in by Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, the same producers that oversaw the Manila legs of Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, Mamma Mia, and Cats

The two contrasting plays tell the stories of two opposing mystical worlds. A Midsummer Night’s Dream takes the audience to Athens and in a parallel plot, into the mystical Fairyland, while Macbeth explores the world of ghosts, witches, and apparitions.


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Lysander and Demetrius fight over Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream

Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre is Europe’s first ever Shakespearean theater, giving visitors the chance to experience the writer’s most popular works in a traditional setting and interacting with the actors. The Elizabethan pop-up theater was designed so that no seat would be farther than 15 meters from the stage. The award-winning theater company was first based in the city of York, where it erected a theater inspired by the iconic London Rose Playhouse. Outside the theater’s venue, the company recreated Shakespeare’s Village and an Elizabethan Garden, which is accessible to the public. Since then it has staged some of Shakespeare’s most popular stories, such as Hamlet, The Tempest, Twelfth Night, and Henry V. Plans for a permanent theater are underway and will begin construction in June 2019, and a second location awaits Blenheim Palace in Oxford. 


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Snippets from A Midsummer Night's Dream

“While Manila audiences will be seated in the comfort of Theatre at Solaire rather than an open-air scaffolding structure, the two productions will be innovative, immersive and fun, with the actors making some of their entrances and exits through the audience,” says Lunchbox Theatrical Productions CEO James Cundall. “We will have dramatic sword-fights, bubbling cauldrons, wayward fairies, comic love scenes, gruesome murders, grand poetry and no shortage of fake blood!”

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A gruesome moment in Macbeth

For more information, visit shakespearesrosetheatre.com. For ticket reservations, visit ticketworld.com.ph.

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