Shakespeare in the park (and in the round) is quite a challenge, especially for a cast of students aged from 14 to 17, and to be honest, it was a little shaky at the beginning – maybe nerves – but the audience of 180 people seated in the amphitheatre seemed to be involved right from the start. However, by the beginning of Act 2 the whole thing cast had definitely hit their straps.
As someone said, this story has a bit of soap opera feel to it, but it is a classic Shakespeare tale of trickery and betrayal, which was performed with well drawn characterisations and some fabulous comic timing. Each character seemed fully engaged with the show and their part, and if the stagecraft left one or two down (speeches rushed, faced away from the audience at times), the whole cast was fully engaged in telling the stories of the two couples falling in and out of love, family betrayal but a happy ending.
The Little Seed company is Sunshine Coast based and focuses on drama classes for teens, and from their web site, it is clear they are committed to their work and have succeeded with introducing their community to a series of Shakespeare and other plays in the fabulous amphitheatre in the Noosa Botanic Gardens
The small orchestra (keys, guitar and trumpet) hit just the right note of accompaniment without intruding on the action. Costumes set the action in around the 1930s, and allowed the action set in Italy a sense of fading nobility, rather than give Shakespeare’s princes and dukes an anachronistic quality. Congratulations to the whole cast, as well as the production team for bringing out the best in this wonderful cast.
Highly recommended by this reviewer for those interested in an accessible, family friendly afternoon of classic English theatre – take a picnic, cushion to sit on and warm clothes for the late afternoon.
More about the company at https://www.little-seed.com.au/
Shakespeare at the Lake – two more performances: 22 & 23 May 2:20 pm – 5 pm $30 or concession