The Rep Announces New Production As Part Of The World Shakespeare Festival

The Rep Announces New Production As Part Of The World Shakespeare Festival

A brand new production presented by The REP as part of the World Shakespeare Festival has been announced. The REP will be joining forces with the internationally renowned director, Calixto Bieito and Barcelona Internacional Teatre to present an original play, Forests, at The Old Rep Theatre in September 2012. This innovative play will be inspired by Shakespeare’s references to forests throughout his work, in a Dante-esque journey through hell, purgatory and paradise.

With a cast of English and Catalan actors led by the great Catalan actor Josep Maria Pou, Calixto Bieito will show, through plays such as Timon Of Athens, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, King Lear, Macbeth and As You Like It, a “forest” which represents a place for the getaway, a punishment or sentence, and, sometimes, a place for shelter and redemption.

Calixto Bieito says of Forests;

“I am honoured to be working with Birmingham Repertory Theatre Company once again and to be part of the unprecedented collaboration that is the World Shakespeare Festival.

The forest has always played a dramatic role in English literature, from Chaucer to Wordsworth, and no more so than in Shakespeare’s work. Many of Shakespeare’s literary references to nature focus on the forest’s life giving and protective qualities, but as in fairytales and folklore, Shakespeare also uses the forest in his plays to represents man’s greatest fears of danger, death, destruction and evil. It is Shakespeare’s rich material that will inspire Forests.”

Calixto Bieito is no stranger to Birmingham audiences, having previously directed Hamlet and Celestina at The REP, both of which stimulated controversy and earned critical acclaim. One of the most prominent and sought after directors in Europe, Calixto’s re-workings of the classics test boundaries and provoke reaction with their spellbinding and passionate vitality.

Stuart Rogers, Executive Director, Birmingham Repertory Theatre says of the collaboration;

“The REP is delighted to be working with Calixto Bieito again and to be producing a show for the World Shakespeare Festival. It’s particularly pleasing to be doing such an intriguing and innovative version of Shakespeare as Forests in the very theatre in Birmingham where our founder Sir Barry Jackson produced the first modern-dress Shakespeare production 80 years ago. I’m sure that Forests at the Old Rep Theatre will be a major highlight of our 2012 offsite season.”

The World Shakespeare Festival forms part of London 2012 Festival, which is the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad, bringing leading artists from all over the world together in a UK-wide festival in the summer of 2012. The World Shakespeare Festival is a celebration of Shakespeare as the world’s playwright, produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company, in an unprecedented collaboration with leading UK and international arts organisations, and with Globe to Globe, a major international programme produced by Shakespeare’s Globe. It runs from 23 April to 9 September 2012 and is supported by the National Lottery through the Olympic Lottery Distributor, Arts Council England and BP, as Founding Presenting Partner.

Tickets for Forests have gone on sale today for members of Act One and Act Two with general tickets going on sale on Monday 12 September 2011.

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