Analysis : Shake And Stir Theatre Company

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Shake and Stir Theatre Company is a compelling theatrical voice which aspires to render Shakespeare’s plays to appease modern audiences. However, William Shakespeare penned his last play 400 years ago; despite this, his plays and sonnets are as alive today as they were in the 16th and 17th Centuries. Shakespeare’s plays still appeal to modern society because of the universality of the dramatic themes- desire, domestic relationships, the complications of love and power struggles in relationships - humans still experience these emotions and challenges which gives Shakespeare a foothold in modern times (Bruster, 2014). Shake and Stir sequenced together an array of modified scenes from Shakespeare’s most iconic plays, to implore the dramatic meaning that Shakespearean text can be rendered to engross modern audiences while maintaining its integrity and Elizabethan charm. “Great Shakes” is staged in a graveyard, where three year ten students, Betty, Brock and Ben are incarcerated. However, after appearances from several supernaturals, they are returned to their everyday lives, but not before they are faced with the task to manipulate Shakespeare’s tragedies, comedies and histories to engage contemporary audiences. It is evident that Shake and Stir’s production, “Great Shakes” effectively conveyed the dramatic meaning of Shakespeare’s relevance in contemporary society. This was made explicit through the re-contextualization of the historical context and utilisation of conventions

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