The women stole the show!

Vibrant Production
Last Updated : 25 October 2012, 12:58 IST

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Imagine Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’, being played by an all-women cast — this
interesting concept was put together by the students of the Canadian International School at Ranga Shankara recently.

The story of the play is set on a remote island. Prospero, the rightful duke of Milan, is overthrown by his brother Antonio, who has usurped the title of the duke for himself.

Prospero uses illusion and skillful manipulation to restore his daughter Miranda to her rightful place. Meanwhile, Miranda falls in love with the King Alonso.

A series of twists in the plot finally portray the low character of Antonio.

Mallika, an actress who performed in the play, says “It was very different to perform this play. Shakespeare wrote his plays for all-male companies of actors, in which teenaged boys played the women’s roles. In his lifetime, it was illegal for women to perform on the professional stage in England. The customs and traditions of that time did not permit women to appear in public or to put on any ind of show. We wanted to challenge this norm; therefore, we decided to have an all-women play.”

The play also had different languages, like French and German, added to the script.

Collete, another actress who is from France, says, “Shakespeare is a worldwide figure.

His plays are enacted in many languages — thus, we thought of having different languages added to this play. However, the main dialogues that carried the story forward were retained in English.”

The actresses performed the roles of men elegantly. The choreography of the play was aesthetically done and shadows were intelligently used to narrate the story. Saroja, an audience member, says “I loved the play. In  society, there is always some pressure on women to conform to the norms and please others. What I really appreciated in this play is that women donned the roles of men and yet, played them so elegantly.

Even the romantic scene between Miranda and Ferdinand did not seem vulgar at all.”

Around 80 children from various schools had come to watch the play. The witty actions performed by the artistes evoked a lot of laughter from the kids.

Esther, from St Paul’s School, says, “I really like the play. It was interesting that women also played the role of men. I liked the way they dressed. Jokes were cracked at every minute; I had a good time today.”

The soothing music in the background, combined with the vibrant choreography, added to the experience and the audience looked completely engrossed watching the play.

Published 25 October 2012, 12:58 IST

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