Cyprus Mail

Works to make your hair stand on end

This year marks 400 years since Shakespeare’s death. The English poet, playwright and actor gave us 38 plays and 154 sonnets which are still performed, quoted from and modernised today. To celebrate the life and work of the bard, the British Council is joining forcing with the British High Commission Nicosia to present the programme Shakespeare Lives in 2016.

Shakespeare Lives in 2016 aims to bring the bard to life once again in 2016 through his work. The programme is being run globally from March 16 to 29, with the help of leading theatres, educators and artists. It will include new theatre productions, screened plays, film adaptations, art exhibitions and more.

Cyprus will celebrate the works of Shakespeare with a screening of the 1995 film version of Othello for students at the Goethe Institute in Nicosia on Wednesday at 10am and then again for the general public at the Pantheon Cinema at 7pm.

Othello, or as it is also known The Tragedy of Othello or the Moor of Venice, is considered to be a great tragedy about a feeling all of us have felt from time to time, jealousy. The green-eyed monster gets the better of Othello – a Venetian general who served in Cyprus.

The film version of the play, which was written in 1604 and first printed in 1622, is directed by Oliver Parker. Laurence Fishburne stars as Othello, Irene Jacob plays Desdemona and Kenneth Branagh is Iago.

Schools from both communities who wish to take their students to the morning screening should contact the British Council beforehand.

After the screening at the Pantheon Cinema in Nicosia, a lecture by Patricia Phillippy Professor of English Literature and Creative Writing at Kingston University in London will be held. The lecture, entitled Shakespearean Values: Othello in Time and Place – will discuss whether Othello challenges or reinforces the values of Shakespearean society, or of our society, today.

Phillippy is widely published in the areas of women’s writing and gender in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

The celebrations continue on Mach 29 when a showing of As You Like It, performed at the National Theatre, which will be screened at THOC theatre in Nicosia.

Shakespeare’s comedy of love and change is staged at the National Theatre for the first time in over 30 years, with Evening Standard Award-winner Rosalie Craig as Rosalind.

With her father the Duke banished and in exile, Rosalind and her cousin Celia leave their lives in the court behind them and journey into the Forest of Arden. There Rosalind experiences the liberating rush of transformation. Disguising herself as a boy, she embraces a different way of living and falls spectacularly in love.

The performance will also be simultaneously screened at the Rialto theatre in Limassol.

Screening of the 1995 film to mark 400 years since the death of Shakespeare for students. March 16. Goethe Institute, Nicosia. 10am-2pm. Tel: 22-585000
Pantheon Cinema, Nicosia. 7pm. Free. Followed by a lecture by Patricia Phillippy.

As You Like It
Screening of the performance from the National Theatre. March 29. THOC New Building, Nicosia. 8.30pm. €10/6. English with Greek and Turkish subtitles. Tel: 77-772717
Rialto theatre, Limassol. 8.30pm. €10/7. With Greek and English subtitles. Tel: 77-777745

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