Shakespeare in Love
When Shakespeare in Love was released in 1998, it was an immediate hit with audiences and critics alike. The film, starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Joseph Fiennes, took in $289.3 million at the box office, was the year’s ninth-highest-grossing movie, and won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actress (Paltrow), Best Supporting Actress (Judi Dench) and Best Original Screenplay.
Now, thanks to writer Lee Hall (Billy Elliot), Tom Stoppard and Marc Norman’s screenplay has been adapted into a side-splitting, heartwarming stage comedy – and it’s made its Australian debut with the Melbourne Theatre Company (MTC).
In case you need reminding, the play (like the movie) tells the story of a young Will Shakespeare, played by Michael Wahr, before he wrote all those successful plays and became one of the greatest literary and dramatic figures of the English language.
The play is set in London in 1593, when Shakespeare has a bad case of writer’s block and desperately needs a muse. His new comedy, Romeo and Ethel the Pirate’s Daughter, is less than inspired and he’s running out of time to deliver his next masterpiece. That is, until he meets Viola, (played by Claire van der Boom) and a real-life Romeo and Juliet story starts to unfold. But Viola has a secret, and this damned Romeo play is turning out to be nothing like the comedy the Queen demanded.
Originally produced on the West End by Disney Theatrical Productions and Sonia Friedman Productions, MTC audiences can expect romance, belly laughs and lavish musical accompaniment in this coup of a production from acclaimed director Simon Phillips.
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