Marking legendary British playwright William Shakespeare's 400th death anniversary, the British Council will premiere a modern adaptation of "Romeo and Juliet" on March 28 at the National Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Segunbagicha in the city. The 75-minute play has been produced in collaboration with Dhaka Theatre and Graeae Theatre Company, UK. This new version of Shakespeare's phenomenal tragedy has been titled 'A Different Romeo and Juliet'.
The announcement for the presentation of the play was made during a press conference held at the residence of British High Commissioner in Dutabash Road, Baridhara in the city on March 20. Alison Blake, British High Commissioner; Matt Pusey, deputy director, British Council Bangladesh; Jenny Sealey, creative director, Graeae Theatre Company, Nasiruddin Yousuff Bachchu, chief, Dhaka Theatre; and Liaquat Ali Lucky, director general, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy were present in the press conference as panel members.
The production has been claimed to be truly unique in a way that, it will be performed in its entirety by 14 highly talented artists with disability.
They have been drilled and directed by Jenny Sealey, Artistic Director of Graeae Theatre Company. Noted filmmaker and theatre personality Nasiruddin Yousuff from Dhaka Theatre provided her with key morale boasting support.
The artists are drawn from Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP-Bangladesh), Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), Bangladesh Reform Initiatives for Development, Governance and Empowerment (BRIDGE) and Gram Theatre.
The British Council intends to establish a legacy of this ambitious project. Among a number of initiatives they plan to go on tour with the play across five major cities of the country following the Dhaka performance, arrange for nationwide TV viewing, showcase a documentary about the journey through the production works for an international audience at festivals.
"The UK's greatest author William Shakespeare's ensured his writings were accessible by all. I feel delighted to assert this new play by British Council Bangladesh takes this attempt a step further to celebrate the Bard's 400th year of demise. I hope this will production inspire others to take part not only in the arts but other disciplines as well.' said Alison Blake.
"We hope this play will contribute in changing people's perceptions of life, and the right to love and be loved," said Matt Pusey.