Review: AWOB’s Shakespeare: Love, Sex & Romance

The newest Actors without Bard’ers stage production ran last Saturday and Sunday in Hyewha, something I have been looking forward to since the sweaty Bard’ers Beach Bash benefit night at Orange Tree in Haebangchon last month. If you’re not familiar, AWOB is a not for profit expat theater group aiming to help foreign artists build relationships with the art communities throughout Seoul. And they do a good job.

Shakespeare: Love, Sex & Romance was a collection of lustful, comedic and heartfelt scenes from A Midsummer Nights Dream, The Tempest, Henry V, The Taming of the Shrew, Romeo and Juliet, Richard III, Othello, As You Like It, Troilus and Cressida, Much Ado About Nothing and The Merchant of Venice. Not having experienced any
Shakespeare in quite some time, it was refreshing to take in their particular interpretation of his work. They did justice to the original context of his words, but kept it up to date by incorporating aspects of our current Korean lifestyle. This allowed the viewer to relate to his antiquated intense passion and comedy in our modern Asian setting.

The best example of this could be found during the Act 5, Scene 2 performance of Henry V. In this scene, the English Henry does his best to woo the French Katherine, utilizing Alice to assist in the interpretation. AWOB’s rendition still referred to Alice and Katherine as French, but on stage they spoke Korean. And as the trio fumbled back and forth, losing intent in miscommunication and interpretation, this version of Henry did something all expats in the audience could relate to. If they haven’t done it themselves, surely their students have. He subtly checks the translation on his cell phone.

There are a few ways to learn more about and get involved with AWOB.

September 12th at 3:00pm is the AWOB Meet and Greet, for those becoming part of the organization.

October 9th and 10th are the auditions for The Merchant of Venice.

For more information, contact actorswb@gmail.com

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~ by ripcitytoseoul on September 9, 2010.

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