Above image is Leo King Hii (Photo by Guido Gonzalez)
Take ten young actors, 9 different locations, one rainy day and the most famous monologue of them all and you have TO BE, a fresh take on Shakespeare’s best known words from the Australian Theatre for Young People in Sydney.Intended as a curtainraiser for atyp’s major online theatre and film online monologue writing program, THE VOICES PROJECT, TO BE works on its own terms as a reminder of the relevance of Shakespeare’s verse for young people today, with the poetry of the language gaining resonance from the diversity of voices and interpretations of the young actors, the range of locations used and the brooding atmosphere created by shooting on a gloomy Sunday in Sydney’s wettest November in years.
This was many of the actors first experience of performing Shakespeare, and for most, their first time on film, but they responded brilliantly to the challenge. Before the shoot, atyp worked with the cast to workshop the text, investigating the language line by line, studying the context and teasing out the piece’s possible interpretations for a contemporary performer and audiences. On the day , the 10 performers came up with their own individual interpretations, thriving under the time constraints, difficult weather conditions, officious park officials and the pressures of performing Shakespeare in public (sometimes, very public) spaces. They came away with an appreciation of the power, poetry and relevance of Shakespeare and an eagerness to engage with his works further, while giving audiences a timely and timeless tribute to this, one of Shakespeare’s greatest works. Some voices really do speak across the ages.
Find out more about TO BE and THE VOICES PROJECT at www.freshink.com.au/thevoicesproject