Partners Rapt -Marlowe and Me
What drives artists to continually update and reinterpret the work of William Shakespeare and why do audiences keep coming back for more? In their newest work, Partners Rapt turn to Shakespeare’s rival and contemporary, Christopher Marlowe. Using improvisation, audience games and imagined conversations between Shakespeare and Marlowe, they explore his life, work and legacy.
About the artists…
Partners Rapt are a fledging theatre company consisting of graduates from the University of Warwick and the University of Sheffield. They formed in 2015 to perform Modern Ecstasy, a play written by co-founder Ronan Hatfull, which explored the afterlives of Lady Macbeth and Coriolanus. Subsequently, the group co-wrote This Blasted Heath, which was staged with the support of funding from Warwick’s Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning. The project was interdisciplinary in its development, content and execution, mixing traditional academic seminars with immersive workshops, and fused Shakespeare’s texts with the work of Samuel Beckett and Cormac McCarthy.
In the years since, they have staged productions of various plays by Shakespeare. During 2016, they rehearsed Julius Caesar throughout the US Presidential election campaign and staged the play a week after the result, in order to help the actors to map the narrative of Shakespeare’s play onto real-world events. This was followed by a production of Macbeth, which explored the play as a contemporary horror narrative set within the world of a gated community. During Summer 2017, they staged two outdoor productions: a modernised Twelfth Night and Hell is Empty, a new existential comedy by Hatfull. The following year, they performed Much Ado About Nothing as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s outdoor festival at The Dell. Their central goals as a company is to explore the work of Shakespeare and his contemporaries in modern contexts, challenging audience perceptions of these plays and crafting interdisciplinary methods of adaptation.
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