Shakes Birthday Week - Come Celebrate With Us

Cleo & the Boys: Dame Janet Suzman; If Music be the Food of Love/Free Your Voice: Sarah Sayeed


Cleopatra and the Boys 23 April

An unconventional take on a unique play -

With Dame Janet Suzman

If Music Be the Food of Love 21 April

With musician, vocal artist, composer & writer

Sarah Sayeed

Free Your Voice 28 April

Sarah Sayeed focusing on expression, intent and clarity

With extracts from Shakespeare texts

During a glittering career playing Shakespeare, Janet Suzman’s portrayal of Cleopatra remains iconic. In this session she will argue controversially why she believes that the role was most certainly played by a woman when it was originally performed. Come along and celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday by joining us for an intriguing discussion on 23 April at 7pm. Please read the play beforehand.

Janet played Cleopatra twice in Stratford, in London and on film. She directed Kim Cattrall in the role many years later. “I was so fascinated that a man Shakespeare could have written a woman Cleopatra that is so nuanced, so subtle, to my eyes absolutely undoable except by a mature mind which is why I cannot see boys playing this role,” she said.

Sarah Sayeed’s credits include Principle Musician in Richard II at Shakespeare's Globe, Composer and Musical Director for the Royal Shakespeare Company adaption of Moliere's Tartuffe, and Sound Designer for Contact Theatre's production on the Suffragette Movement, She Bangs The Drums. With more than 15 years of experience working collaboratively with a range of artists, she is Creative Director of Project Phakama which runs workshops and projects for artists, young people and communities. Sarah has led workshops and delivered for Oxford Contemporary Music and represents women composers in music for the Musicians Union. Her sessions online with us are a taster for the workshops she will be running at our summer school at The Playground Theatre, June 14 - 19.

If music be the food of love: This first session with Sarah will explore scoring a piece of Shakespeare text with new approaches to composing and design. The session is aimed at those who wish to enhance/develop their own skills in this area and those who are interested in the process as a way of increasing their enjoyment and appreciation of the plays. 21 April at 7pm

Free Your Voice: The second session with Sarah is for participants to explore opening and to free their natural voice, while finding different ways of working with range and dynamics, focusing on expression, intent and clarity using extracts from Shakespeare. 28 April at 7pm