A riotously, raucous theatrical event about service, appetites and balancing acts – spanning the full reach of comedy – from Shakespeare’s dark satirical masterpiece Measure For Measure to Goldoni’s Italian dish of laughs The Servant of Two Masters, Sport For Jove presents its 9th Summer season of plays.
Measure For Measure
What rules your life? The law? Your conscience? Your instinct? Faith? Should we be ruled by justice or mercy? Should a government legislate your sex life, your morality? How do you responsibly answer the prompts of your deepest, darkest impulses and remain an upstanding moral citizen?
Shakespeare may as well have written this play yesterday – an Elizabethan Orange Is The New Black meets A Handmaid’s Tale – Measure For Measure pushes the genre of comedy to it’s darkest and most biting limits. A murky and morally ambiguous exploration of desire and power that will shock audiences with it’s contemporary voice, will make you laugh and make you think twice.
“Lizzie is one of the finest minds on Shakespeare’s writing that I have come across in 25 years of working on these plays,” said Festival Director, Damien Ryan. “She has extraordinary intuition with the language and the purpose of the writing, particularly seeing the plays in daring new light.”
“I am extremely excited to have her directing for us this season, and to work on one of Shakespeare’s most surprising and subversive plays is an added treat for audiences who have enjoyed Lizzie’s remarkable work on stage at the Festival since its inception.”
The Servant of Two Masters
Adapted from Carlo Goldoni’s mid 18th Century Italian comedy, The Servant of Two Masters is a delicious feast of fun, following the story of an enterprising and perpetually hungry servant who endeavours to work for two masters in order to earn twice the meals!
The Servant of Two Masters is Goldoni’s most popular and loved comedy to this day, and his prolific writing career left a legacy to Italian Theatre. Throughout his life, Goldoni undertook a personal mission to reform the approach to performance in his country.
He believed the improvised work of the famous stock-character, masked, Commedia dell’arte troupes had become lazy and predictable, and through his scripted dialogue he urged a style of playing that explored the honesty and wit of real life through comedies of characters’ manners and behaviours. With the mask removed, Goldoni aspired to a more accessible and truthful mode of storytelling, with individuality and a sense of realism that reflected contemporary life.
This new adaptation of The Servant of Two Masters retains the essence and hilarity of it’s 1700’s source, whilst honouring Goldoni’s own legacy of reform by bringing an immediacy to our contemporary audience.
“Francesca and George have been comic and dramatic stalwarts of our company and its outdoor season,” said Ryan. “With a particularly extraordinary record of producing wonderful shows for young people every Christmas as part of our Second Age Project. I laughed myself silly at their terrific new adaptation of Goldoni’s irrepressible masterpiece and can’t wait for audiences to revel in their inventiveness and the chaos of this spectacular play. It will be a real festival treat.”
Botched marriages, dastardly disguises, cunning plots… men who are wildly unqualified for their jobs and unruly women pushed to the point of performing miracles. Join us this season for a feast of comedy – both light and dark – that will hopefully prove that out of chaos comes progress and satisfaction.
Directors: Lizzie Schebesta (Measure For Measure), Francesca Savige and George Banders (A Servant of Two Masters) Featuring: George Zhao, Yalin Ozucelik, Adele Querol, Gabriel Fancourt, Aanisa Vylet, Samantha Ward, Shingo Usami, Meg Clarke, Andrew Hearle, Jess Loudon, Mackenzie Fearnley, Steph Kelly, Claudia Ware, Mitchell Bourke, Janine Watson
Assistant Director: Clara Solly-Slade (Measure For Measure) Designer: Sallyanne Facer Design Assistant: Bronte Nicole Sound Designer: Tegan Nicholls Lighting Designer: Matt Cox Stage Managers: Steph Kelly, Rebecca Poulter (rehearsals), Bronte Schuftan Technical Manager: Bretton Reis Vocal Coach: Amy Hume Fight Director: Tim Dashwood Festival Artistic Director: Damien Ryan
Measure For Measure and The Servant of Two Masters will be performed in repertory at Bella Vista Farm Park until 30 December 2017, before being performed at Everglades Gardens, Leura: 13 – 28 January 2018. For more information, visit: www.sportforjove.com.au for details.
Image: Sport For Jove’s Measure For Measure – photo by Kate Williams