Shakes Birthday Week - Come Celebrate With Us
Tiffany Parker
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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

#voice #musicalcomposition #singing #soundscape #vocalexpression #vocalfreedom #vocalclarity #composingfortheatre


#Antony&Cleopatra #Cleopatra #Egyptianqueen #QueenoftheNile



Dame Janet Suzman

Janet Suzman was made DBE in 2011 after a long career that began with the ground-breaking Wars of the Roses when Sir Peter Hall established the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1964. Major roles for the RSC for the next 10 years culminating in Cleopatra. Janet has always kept strong links with the country of her birth, South Africa, where she began her directing career with a production of Othello with John Kani, seen as a protest play, in 1987 at The Market Theatre. Films include Nicholas and Alexandra [Academy Award & Golden Globe Nominations], The Draughtsman’s Contract, A Dry White Season, Priest of Love, E La Nave Va. TV series: Clayhanger, Mountbatten. Wrote The Free State based on The Cherry Orchard celebrating Nelson Mandela, 1997. Directed Kim Cattrall in Antony and Cleopatra for Liverpool Playhouse and Chichester. Plays in London inc: Hedda Gabler, Hello and Goodbye, Three Sisters, The Greeks, Sisters Rosensweig, Dream of the Dog, Solomon and Marion. Evening Standard (twice), Critic’s Circle, Manchester Theatre, Helen Hayes, Pragnell Shakespeare awards. Opera, The Marriage of Figaro for RAM. Book: Not Hamlet. Life Fellow of Shakespeare Association of GB, Freedom of the City of London, Chair British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles, a handful of Hon.D.Lit inc. Cape Town, Warwick and London U.  

Sarah Sayeed

As a musical artist, Sarah Sayeed’s practice focuses around contemporary influences on Western classical choral works, orchestral ideas, Indian and Bengali classical vocals, instrumental pieces, Western contemporary jazz and urban music. Sarah plays instruments tanpura and shruti, and is the lead vocalist in international duet Myth of Her with violin and electronic artist Anne Eltard (Copenhagen, Denmark). She is currently training in classical vocals with leading Classical Indian Music maestro Swati Natekar. Her credits also include Composer and Sound Designer for Santi and Naz (The Thelmas): Composer and Sound Designer for We Are Shadows (Tamasha).


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