Shakespeare’s plays have been reinterpreted for hundreds of years now, and the best part is that different directors have taken some very interesting artistic liberties with the way they present these classics. The stage itself is no longer necessarily a conventional theatre, and that makes for some pretty cool performances. In Malta, MADC’s Shakespeare In The Garden is one of the most popular examples of this, and this year will see the age-old tradition returning to San Anton Gardens for one of Shakespeare’s most famous comedies.
The Taming of The Shrew is this year’s chosen play, with the renowned Polly March taking directorial duties. “The challenge we’re facing is how best to alter the perception that this play is, at its darkest, about spousal abuse,” Polly said, explaining the hardship of directing a comedy which also has some dark moments. “This is a love story, about two people who find their match—and their equal—in each other.”
“Of course, the audience is not meant to take the situation seriously,” Polly continued. “It’s commedia, and Shakespeare is showing us up for what we are, or what we could be.”
The cast includes scene heavyweights Philip Leone Ganado, Becky Camilleri, Tina Rizzo, Gianni Selvaggi, Alex Gatsy Lewis, Laura Best and Jonathan Dunn, along with music from young saxophonist Samuel Mallia.
Shakespeare In The Garden is actually a very old tradition in Malta, which makes this such a special night. “This tradition has been taking place, in one form or another, for over 60 years,” said MADC artistic director Marylu Coppini. “It has become part of the MADC’s identity, as well as a source of inspiration for the acting members of the club that provides an undeniable theatrical benchmark for them to aspire to.”
The famous Shakespearean comedy was performed in Malta in 1972, 1989 and 2005, so it’s interesting to see what they have in store for this play over a decade later.