Venus and Adonis by William Shakespeare |December 2nd - 24th 2016| Directed by Samantha Van Der Merwe
"Undaungtingly creative." ~Willamette Week
"Brilliant, energetic and vibrant. Stunning work!" ~Patron
Shakespeare's great erotic poem Venus and Adonis was Shakespeare's first bestseller. He wrote it in 1593, when the theatres were closed because of the plague, and it was an immediate publishing hit, running to 16 editions over the next few years. It's raunchy stuff, designed, no doubt, to appeal to the 19-year-old appetite of the Earl of Southampton, to whom it is dedicated. It tells the story of the sex goddess Venus and her passionate obsession for the petulant pretty boy Adonis. He rejects the offer of being her divine toy boy, preferring to go boar-hunting instead, but finally gives in to her advances. He ends up gored by a ferocious wild boar, and Venus curses love for ever more. This epic poem is perfect example in miniature of Shakespeare's genius: here is vivid characterisation, terrific storytelling and sublime poetry, but also sensational comic material (Adonis's over-sexed stallion flirting with a capricious mare), followed instantly by moving tragedy.
Starring Rebecca Ridenour and Matthew Kerrigan Creative Team Rebecca Foster, Ted Gold, Samantha Van Der Merwe, Annalise Albright-Woods & Jeff Woods
"Funny, playful, physical and delightful." ~Patron
"Congratulations to Samantha Van Der Merwe on a thoroughly beautiful and entertaining, imaginative and fast-paced VENUS AND ADONIS. First of all, the casting is wonderful with inspired acting by Rebecca James Ridenour and Matthew Kerrigan. Their movement work, animal calls, quips aimed at the audience, and delivery of Shakespeare's beautiful poetry were all very fine, and they were so very beautiful to watch in this story of rejected love. Umbrellas were deployed more imaginatively than I have ever seen in a theater piece, in every possible way, yet the staging was quite simple with only some seating, a coat rack and several props, and the simplest of costumes. Much is left to the imagination of the audience, making the piece extremely engaging. I love this kind of theatre, and this piece was particularly fascinating in using multiple modes of suggestion through the actors' voices, movements, facial expressions, and interactions." ~Patron