23 July 2012

Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble transports Shakespeare to the Wild West with their unique interpretation of one of his earliest comedies, The Two Gentlemen of Verona.

Verona becomes an industrial boom-town, from which the two gentlemen leave to seek adventure and fortune at the frontier outpost of Milan.

When both gentlemen plus an oil rich baron fall for the beautiful but headstrong Silvia, the Sheriff’s daughter, a whole mess of swaggering ensues.

Director Rob Pensalfini has won accolades for his directing, acting, and teaching. He was recently awarded a major prize for his direction of QSE's ground-breaking Prison Project, Australia's first and only Prison Shakespeare program. A Prison Project alumnus makes his professional acting debut in Two Gentlemen.

Pensalfini’s wild interpretation of Shakespeare’s lesser known play, which catapults us into a gun-slinging, knee-slapping Mexican standoff, is something the talented director has been contemplating for the last decade.

“I like the play’s rawness, its reckless energy. It is perfectly suited to the ‘Western’ or more accurately ‘Cowpunk’ genre which has informed our work in this production," Mr Pensalfini said.

"For each production I do, I choose the play that suits the make-up of the ensemble. This year the ensemble was right for the energy and roughness of Two Gentlemen."

The ensemble consists of 10 experienced actors, many of whom have worked closely with Pensalfini for many years.

Colin Smith, one of QSE’s core members, argues that he does not know of anyone in this country that knows Shakespeare better.

"He (Pensalfini) is Australia’s answer to the United Kingdom’s John Barton, he understands better than anyone the importance of language, and how the basic impulse to speak drives the passion behind Shakespeare’s words," he said.

QSE's season of The Two Gentlemen of Verona runs from Wednesday 15 August until Sunday 2 September 2012. QSE's production will again take place at Roma Street Parkland’s Amphitheatre.

The production will feature original live music and one very talented live dog. It is a Shakespeare production not to be missed.

The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Directed by: Rob Pensalfini Venue: The Amphitheatre, Roma St Parkland Dates: 15 August – 2 September Tickets: Concessions and Groups (10+) $20, Full $30 Bookings: www.qldshakespeare.org


Media: Katy Cunningham, 0421 412 733 or Kathryn_cu@hotmail.com