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The 20-year-old William Shakespeare is going through a creative crisis: the deadline for his play is just around the corner but he has no inspiration. But he finds his muse – Viola, who passionately loves theatre and Shakespeare’s creative work. Nothing, not even the English law of that time prohibiting women from acting on stage, or a highborn suitor can stop Viola from going on stage. Backstage intrigues and bartering with marriage proposals, the royal court and the pubs all pulsate in the background while Shakespeare, inspired by the forbidden love affairs of youth, sets down in writing a play that has by now become perhaps the world’s most famous love story, Romeo and Juliet.
The spicy flavour of the Elizabethan era, historical facts and characters, and plenty of references to Shakespeare’s works are in the play. Almost nothing is known about Shakespeare’s (1564–1616) own actual life story during this period (1585–1592), but that only means that the mental picture of the story of the birth of his immortal work can be all the more spirited.
Shakespeare Lives – this year is the year of Shakespeare, since 400 years have passed since his death. Karmo Nigula, who plays Will the beginner playwright, is in his first season as an Estonian Drama Theatre actor, and Viola, who in this play becomes the prototype for Juliet, is played, sung and danced by Piret Krumm. Shakespeare in Love brings the director Georg Malvius and the art director Ellen Cairns back to the Estonian Drama Theatre. Their last joint production here was The Little Shop of Horrors in 2000. Malvius’s first stage production at the Drama Theatre was The Kiss of the Spiderwoman (1996) with Jüri Krjukov and Ain Lutsepp in the leading roles. Lee Hall’s play is based on the screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard for the film of the same name (1998).
The first production of this play was in the West End, Disney Theatrical Productions & Sonia Friedman Productions, director Declan Donnellan, art director Nick Ormerod, composer Paddy Cuneen.
Premiere: 27 November 2016 in the Big Stage.
Director Georg Malvius
Art Director Ellen Cairns
Lighting Designer Palle Palme
Composer Rasmus Puur
Choreographer Maiken Schmidt (Tallinn City Theatre)
Stage Fight Choreographers Indrek Sammul and Rein Oja
Translated by Anu Lamp
Cast: Will Shakespeare – Karmo Nigula, in other roles Piret Krumm, Mait Malmsten, Ülle Kaljuste, Indrek Sammul, Christopher Rajaveer, Kristo Viiding (guest), Tiit Sukk, Robert Annus, Liisa Saaremäel, Andrus Vaarik (Tallinn City Theatre), Maria Klenskaja, Marta Laan, Markus Luik, Taavi Teplenkov, Guido Kangur, Hendrik Toompere jr, Jüri Tiidus, Lauri Liiv (guest), Veljo Reinik (guest). Musicians: Tiit Kikas, Peeter Klaas, Villu Vihermäe, Anto Õnnis.
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