Saturday, June 23, 2007

Shakespeare's children do Dickens


Two of Madison's near West Side institutions meet: Budd's Auto Repair, 2422 Monroe Street, owned by Dennis Budd, and the Young Shakespeare Players, located just off Monroe behind Trader Joe's, a few blocks up the street from Budd's. This Capital Times story explains the headline, and more.
In an age of TV, the Internet and severely shortened attention spans, mounting a 9-1/2-hour play would be an ambitious undertaking for adults.

But these are children.

The Young Shakespeare Players, for 27 years an important training ground for young artistic talent in the area, is for the first time turning its attention from Shakespeare and George Bernard Shaw to another large-scale English writer, Charles Dickens.

Two casts, with a total of 36 actors performing multiple roles among the more than 130 characters, have spent six months preparing and rehearsing to perform the 1980 Royal Shakespeare Company's critically acclaimed 9-1/2-hour dramatic adaptation of Dickens' "The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby," a novel from 1839 that concerns a mother and son reduced to poverty by the death of the husband-father. (YSP received special permission from the Royal Shakespeare Company to perform the adaptation.)
For ticket information and more about the YSP, check out their website.

2 comments:

Dr Diablo said...

Ten hours of Dickens enacted by small children? For some reason, this makes me think of Lazlo Toth, Don Novello's alter ego, who claimed to stage "A Midsummer Night's Dream" using only weasels.

Madison Guy said...

Dr. Diablo: ROFL, you old curmudgeon.