Bard’s greatest tragedies headed to Hilton

2018-01-17 06:02
Chris van Rensburg (left) as Iago with Nhlankanipho Manqele as Othello.PHOTO:Val Adamson

Chris van Rensburg (left) as Iago with Nhlankanipho Manqele as Othello.PHOTO:Val Adamson

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TWO of William Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies, Othello and Hamlet, are to be staged by Think Theatre in KwaZulu-Natal in February and March.

Award-winning Durban actor, Bryan Hiles, takes on the title role in Hamlet, The Prince of Denmark. It’s his second year playing the tormented hero of what many consider to be the Bard’s greatest work.

Hamlet centres on themes of death, betrayal, greed, murder and revenge. It also asks the audience searching questions, including:

Does a good and purposeful life on Earth triumph? Are vile and criminal acts always punished?

And, what is the purpose of our lives if decency has the same end as treachery?

Hiles delivers a wonderfully nuanced performance as the young prince, who is haunted by his father’s sudden death and his mother, Gertrude’s over-hasty trip down the aisle with his uncle, Claudius (Michael Gritten).

As the play progresses, he confides his plans to close friend, Horatio (Nhlakanipho Manqele).

He will, he says, pretend to be mad and thereby expose his uncle’s part in his father’s death. It’s a decision which ultimately has tragic consequences for Hamlet and for those he loves most. Hiles, Gritten and Mortimer (who plays Gertrude), are joined on stage by Marc Kay as Laertes, Cara Roberts as Ophelia, Darren King as Polonius (advisor to the king and Ophelia and Laertes’ father), Chris van Rensburg as Rosencrantz, Mpilo “Straw” Nzimande as Guildenstern and Kirsty Ndawo as a travelling actress.

Also in the cast is the versatile Rowan Bartlett, who is by turns a travelling actor, a priest, a grave digger and the courtier, Osric.

The same cast performs in Othello with Durban Theatre Award-winner, Manqele, reprising his riveting portrayal of the Moor of Venice, and Roberts returning as his ill-fated young wife, Desdemona. Van Rensburg delivers a chilling portrayal of the villainous Iago.

Othello and Hamlet will run in tandem at the Hilton College Theatre from February 1 to 9, before moving to the Playhouse Drama Theatre in Durban from February 12 to March 16.

Performances in each venue are Monday to Friday at 9 am and 12 noon.

Pre-bookings are essential. Phone Doreen Stanley at 084 556 0668, fax to 086 402 9592 or e-mail doreen@think theatre.co.za - Supplied.

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