The Araluen Arts Centre presents two nights of Shakespeare

The Araluen Arts Centre is excited to present two comedies inspired by William Shakespeare this 16 and 19 September, when State Theatre Company South Australia present The Popular Mechanicals and Bell Shakespeare present The Merchant of Venice.

The Araluen Arts Centre is excited to present two comedies inspired by William Shakespeare this 16 and 19 September, when State Theatre Company South Australia present The Popular Mechanicals and Bell Shakespeare present The Merchant of Venice.

State Theatre Company South Australia are performing in Alice Springs for the first time with The Popular Mechanicals, a comedy based on the rude mechanicals from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and what might have happened off-stage during Shakespeare’s most loved comedy.

“We are thrilled to be presenting two of Australia’s finest theatre companies in Alice Springs and to be showcasing two plays that demonstrate the relevance of Shakespeare to present day audiences,” Director of the Araluen Cultural Precinct, Dr Mark Crees said.

“The Popular Mechanicals was first directed by Geoffrey Rush, and is equal parts funny and silly, showcasing some of Australia’s finest theatrical clowns,” Dr Crees said.

“It uses snippets of the existing text of A Midsummer Night’s Dream along with a gloriously cod version of Shakespearean English, to create a performance that is a mixture of vaudeville, slapstick, farce, stand-up comedy and bad puppetry.

“Alice Springs audiences will laugh at the witty - as well as the bawdy - jokes!”

Bell Shakespeare returns to Alice Springs after a year’s hiatus in 2016, with their latest tragi-comedy The Merchant of Venice, starring Australian award-winning actors Mitchell Butel and Jessica Tovey.

“This production explores the tense relationship and prejudices between those that have, and those that don’t. The themes of justice and revenge continue to play strongly 400 years after this play was written,” Dr Crees said.

“The Merchant of Venice is one of Shakespeare’s most challenging plays for actors because of its mixture of humour, romantic hijinks, prejudice and justice. And Bell Shakespeare excel in bringing all their Shakespearean skill to this contemporary reworking of a classic.”

The Popular Mechanicals will be live onstage at the Araluen Arts Centre on Saturday 16 September at 8pm and The Merchant of Venice will be live onstage at the Araluen Arts Centre on Tuesday 19 September at 8pm.

Ticket prices to a single show are adults for $59.00, concession for $55.00 and Araluen Arts Centre Members $52.00. Patrons can also purchase a ticket to both shows at a reduced rate of $110.00.