Tbilisi theatre marks Shakespeare’s death with nationwide tour

The Marjanishvili Theatre tour got to a start in the yard of Svaneti's Museum of History and Ethnography on June 26. Photo from the Georgian National Museum/Facebook.
Agenda.ge, 28 Jun 2016 - 15:00, Tbilisi,Georgia

Marjanishvili Theatre in Georgia's capital Tbilisi is marking 400 years since the death of famous English poet William Shakespeare by touring Georgia's major cities and regional centres and performing one of the late playwright's famous works.

Announced last week, Marjanishvili Theatre will stage Shakespeare's 1599 comedy As You Like It, which has received international acclaim after being presented at the 2012 Globe to Globe Festival in London honouring the legacy of Shakespeare.

The show by the Tbilisi-based theatre was given a top rating of 5 stars by Britain's The Guardian newspaper and received praise from theatre critics in other publications.

The theatre said the piece would be performed in six cities across Georgia.

People gathered at the Svaneti museum to watch the Shakespeare comedy. Photo from the Georgian National Museum/Facebook.

The company's first appearance within the tour was planned for June 24 in Zugdidi, capital of the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti region in western Georgia however strong winds and rain meant the show was postponed indefinitely. The performance was set to be performed in the yard of the Dadiani noble family palace.

At the time a spokesperson from Marjanishvili Theatre said its sets, props and equipment had been affected by the rain and could not be used for the performance, but promised local theatre-goers to return to Zugdidi at a later date for another show.

Following this minor setback, the tour got off to a proper start on June 26 when the actors performed the show in the yard of the iconic Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography in northwest Georgia. The piece was staged by director Levan Tsuladze.

Marjanishvili Theatre actors perform 'As You Like It' in the yard of the Svaneti Museum. Photo from the Mestia Municipality Board/Facebook.

The actors presented the comedy on a small stage within the rock walls that embrace the Museum - the building nominated for this year's European Museum of the Year Award.

Following their brief stop in Svaneti, the troupe will perform today at the Chiatura State Drama Theatre in the Imereti region.

The theatre troupe will stay in western Georgia for two more shows; one at the House of Culture in the Black Sea coastal city Kobuleti on July 1 before a second show at the Khulo State Drama Theatre in the mountainous part of the Adjara region two days later.

Actors performed on a small stage next to the iconic Svaneti Museum. Photo from the Mestia Municipality Board/Facebook.

A performance at Rabati Castle in southern Georgia's Akhaltsikhe Municipality on July 5 will conclude the theatre's nationwide tour.

With the tour, the Georgian company will be joining various international events to mark the date of Shakespeare's death.

The English poet died in 1616 at the age of 52. He left behind a rich legacy of literary works including the comedy As You Like It, which featured some of his most famous speeches.

The work has also been adapted for film, musical theatre and radio performances.