80 Years since their first Shakespeare at San Anton Gardens, MADC’s annual outdoor production returns this week and will be playing until 22nd July 2018. It is directed by Philip Leone-Ganado.
“All the world’s a stage”, according to Shakespeare’s classic play ‘As You Like It’, which is particularly apt as MADC is set to once again transform San Anton Gardens into a unique, open-air theatre to stage the play. This week marks your opportunity to see some fantastic Maltese theatre – while also enjoying the incredible atmosphere of one of Malta’s most gorgeous, outdoor sites.
The play tells the story of lovers Rosalind and Orlando, who are forced into exile in the Forest of Arden and become entangled in a beguiling game of love, lust and mistaken identity, ‘As You Like It’ is one of the Bard’s funniest and most moving romantic comedies, with coming-of-age themes that are as relevant today as when it was first performed.
This year’s MADC production will take on a contemporary setting that director Philip Leone-Ganado feels will make the most of the backdrop of the gardens.
‘The play moves from the stark, oppressive world of a modern royal court to the free and joyous expanse of a forest festival,’ Philip says. ‘For a play with such an iconic and evocative backdrop as the Forest of Arden, there really is no better place to perform it than San Anton Gardens in summer, which provide a perfect fit for the forest’s magic and splendour.’
‘As You Like It’ will feature a stellar, local cast of fresh faces alongside experienced, established actors, including; Chris Dingli, Stephen Oliver, Jonathan Dunn, Steffi Thake, Roberta Cefai, Chiara Hyzler, Gianni Selvaggi, Michael Mangion, Rambert Attard, Maxine Brimmer, Becky D'Ugo, Joe Depasquale and Daniel Formosa. Whilst remaining faithful to Shakespeare’s original plot and characters, the actors will be playing different roles as the story moves between the play’s two worlds, while the music will also be updated with contemporary elements.
Speaking about the production, Gianni Selvaggi, who has taken on the iconic role of Orlando, says: ‘It's definitely been an interesting journey getting know what makes Orlando tick. He's a very particular character; strong-willed, impulsive and a hopeless romantic who wears his heart on his sleeve. This is my second time performing at San Anton and it's a real blast, especially working with such a brilliant cast.
This is also the second time I'm working with Philip as director – back-to-back actually, as we recently wrapped up a sold-out run of Shakespeare at the Pub. His passion and vision for the text pushes you to keep exploring the character further each time you set foot on stage. The result? This is a comedy full of love, music, smiles and confusion; set in a magical atmosphere, performed by a passionate bunch… what's not to enjoy?’
‘As You Like It’ will be performed at San Anton Gardens in Attard, 13th to 22nd July 2018.
Further information and tickets are available online at www.madc.com.mt
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Images Copyright: Jacob Sammut and MADC