Play offers a fresh, entertaining approach to Shakespeare’s works
February 19 2013 12:54 AM

Qatar’s longest running English language theatre group, The Doha Players, will stage The Complete Works of William Shakespeare – Abridged, as part of Qatar UK 2013 Year of Culture (Qatar UK 2013),  at the Qatar National Theatre on February 28 and March 1.
Described as a play that pushes the boundaries of actor-audience interaction, the production offers audiences a fresh and entertaining approach to Shakespeare’s works, condensing all 37 of his plays into a “high-energy” 97-minute production filled with comedy and improvisation.
The Complete Works, performed in its entirety by three actors, is one of the first plays to be performed in Doha which actively encourages audience interaction, breaking down barriers between performers and audiences and relying heavily on audience participation.
With a light-hearted and irreverent take on the world’s most popular dramatist and poet, The Complete Works is an interactive and easy to follow introduction to Shakespeare, is the longest running comedy in London’s West End, and has been performed around the world to great acclaim.
The play’s actors reflect the universal appeal of the show and Qatar’s diverse communities, hailing as they do from Lebanon, the UK and Canada. Ousama Itani, Samantha McGill and Rowan Denny, all residents of Qatar, have helped to adapt the play to suit Qatari audiences, ensuring that recognisable references to life in Qatar are included in the play.
“There is no point performing a play that is so interactive in its nature, if local customs and popular culture are not included or at least taken into account in the creation of the piece,” commented Farris Bukhari, co-director of the show.
“As a long-time proponent of community theatre, I believe it is extremely important to include as broad a swathe of Qatar’s various communities in the arts as possible. This play encourages just that, making Shakespeare fun and approachable to people from all walks of life.”
Dr Kim Sturgess, assistant professor of English Literature at Qatar University and co-director of The Complete Works stated: “Shakespeare in the 16th century was exciting, with a single sex company of players acting both gender roles, doubling up on characters and offering multi-cultural drama. Our Complete Works will contain all the same elements”.
Qatar UK 2013 has been developed in partnership with Qatar’s Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage, Qatar Museums Authority, Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, the British Council, and the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Inspired by the Qatar National Vision for 2030, Qatar UK 2013 aims to forge new partnerships between the UK and Qatar in education, sport, creative industries, and science, while promoting an awareness and appreciation of each other’s cultures, achievements, and heritage.
The play is supported by main sponsor ConocoPhillips, platinum sponsor GAC, and Doha Mums and THE One and staged with the permission of the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage. Tickets are available at THE One Villaggio and Landmark branches.

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