Following a sold-out preview performance in April 2023, BO15 Productions Ltd & The Messy Kind Collective are putting on their newly developed presentation of William Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona & Sonnet 104 for a small UK tour, starting at The Gate Arts Centre in Cardiff, going on to The RSC’s Dell Theatre in Stratford Upon Avon and finishing off at The Hexagon Theatre, MAC in Birmingham.
Adapted and abridged by Evan L. Barker the play is currently undertaking an off-west end run at The Barons Court Theatre (until July 2nd), while the plays’ cast and crew features local, regional and international talent, most professional graduates from high calibre schools – such as East 15 Acting School, GSA, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama & LAMDA.
Welsh (Actor/Writer) Director Evan L. Barker’s new version of the under-cherished drama-comedy presents a bold and surprising hybrid of classical and contemporary text, with a focus on bringing Shakespeare to modern audiences.
The play follows best friends, Proteus and Valentine, on the verge of adulthood decide to leave Verona in search of a better future. However, things take a turn for the worst when they arrive at their new school Milan. Having left his devout Julia behind, Proteus falls for Valentine’s new love interest, Sylvia, the daughter of the school’s headmaster. Despite Sylvia’s hand already promised to fellow classmate Thurio, Proteus does all he can to drive a wedge between Sylvia and her suitors. With an adapted ending, the final stand between Valentine and Proteus erupts into a whirlwind of hidden truths.
Creating today’s school system– the play has been updated to follow students, navigating their way through the social hierarchy, into their adult life. Going between Verona (State Comprehensive), Milan (Private Boarding) & Mantua (Young Offenders) Exploring corrupted youth, naive love, friendship & betrayal. With themes of class, loneliness, and abandonment.
William Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona & Sonnet 104 plays The Gate Arts Centre, Cardiff on Friday July 7 at 7:30pm. Full price – £12.50, concession – £10 (+ a £2; third-party booking fee.)