“TWELFTH Night”, or “What You Will” will be the centrepiece of Shakespeare by the Lakes II in February 2019, according to the team that brought Canberra and Queanbeyan free outdoor Shakespeare earlier this year.
Good news is that Chris Stollery will direct the 2019 season, a figure familiar to Canberra audiences as a compelling actor with Bell Shakespeare Company for 15 years, appearing in 19 productions.
The play Lakespeare & Co is “arguably Shakespeare’s most perfect rom-com” and the English language’s first “non-gender specific trans comedy”.
Briefly, after a shipwreck when the heroine, Viola, washes ashore on the coast of Illyria. Disguising herself as a man, she falls for Orsino, the Duke of the geographically-non existent island, who is himself absurdly in love with the Lady Olivia. But Viola has adopted a male disguise, and—wouldn’t you know it? —she has a missing-presumed-dead identical twin brother. But Illyria is peopled with some very eccentric characters, so there’s a lot of fun too.
In 2018, Shakespeare by the Lakes I was performed free to over 4200 people, a venture made possible by more than $14,000 in donations from the public and nearly $25,000 in corporate sponsorship.
Admission will continue to be free and donations gratefully accepted, but (fingers crossed for them) grant applications for Shakespeare by the Lakes II have been submitted to ArtsACT and the Australia Council.