Shakespearean take on health

Lydia Blomfield plays the Barber-Surgeon in this year's Shakespeare in the Park production, A Plague O' Both Your Houses, staged in Invercargill's Queens Park.
(From left) Ricky Andrews, Maggie Pirie and Victoria Morgan during a dress rehearsal at Queens Park this week.

THE Shakespeare in the Park production and cast is back at Queens Park this week with its version of A Plague O’ Both Your Houses.

After having production livestreamed last year due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the Shakespeare in the Park Charitable Trust managed to bring live theatre to the gardens again with a timely production.

Director Angela Newell said this year’s play was based around Shakespearean treatments of health and medicine.

It illuminated some of the customs, beliefs and practises from Elizabethan life, which could be compared to present times when our community was grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic, she said.

“Whether it’s Ophelia’s grief or Romeo’s quest to find poison, or King’s Lear’s senility -Shakespeare wove his own understanding of health and well-being (or lack of it) into his plays.

“With our current focus on the pandemic, it is interesting to reflect on what similarities and differences there are between Shakespeare’s world and ours.”

A Plague O’ Both Your Houses will be presented from today at 6pm until Sunday, with two extra sessions at 2pm during the weekend.

The assembly point is in front of the Winter Garden – between the Chinese and Japanese gardens. Entry is free but a vaccination pass is required.