CST announces return of Simon Callow for Being Shakespeare
Jan 11, 2012
Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) announced today the return of celebrated British film and stage actor Simon Callow to Chicago for CST's 25th Anniversary engagement of his acclaimed Being Shakespeare-a virtuosic solo performance that weaves together excerpts from William Shakespeare's plays and poems, breathing new life into his unforgettable characters and the real man behind the legend. Presented as part of CST's World's Stage, this uniquely multidimensional portrait of the Bard follows Callow's major international success The Mystery of Charles Dickens (Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Broadway and London's West End) in addition to memorable film roles including Shakespeare in Love, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Postcards from the Edge, A Room with a View and Amadeus. Written by Jonathan Bate (preeminent Shakespeare biographer and editor of the RSC's Shakespeare: The Complete Works) and directed by Tom Cairns, Being Shakespeare is presented by CST at the Broadway Playhouse (175 E. Chestnut Street) April 18-29, 2012, with a special performance on Shakespeare's birthday, Monday, April 23, 2012. Tickets are $45-$75, and CST subscribers will have access to an exclusive presale before tickets go on sale to the general public beginning February 15, 2012, at www.chicagoshakes.com.
Named the #1 Critic's Choice in The Times of London and heralded as a "genuine tour de force" in the Daily Mail, Being Shakespeare took the Edinburgh Festival Fringe by storm and subsequently played to great acclaim throughout its UK tour and West End engagement. The Daily Express lauded Callow's performance as a "singular triumph," with The Guardian's four-star review raving, "We've had some fine one-man shows about Shakespeare from John Gielgud, Ian McKellen and Michael Pennington. But Simon Callow's is among the very best... a memorably multidimensional picture of Shakespeare, steeped in scholarship and love."
Celebrated British star of stage and screen, director, writer, and scholar, Simon Callow is one of the UK's artistic treasures. In addition to Being Shakespeare and The Mystery of Charles Dickens, Callow received critical acclaim for his performance as Sir Toby Belch in the National Theatre's sold-out production of Twelfth Night, directed by Sir Peter Hall, and starred alongside Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart in Waiting for Godot (London's West End). Callow's television credits include Rome, Charles Dickens in an episode of Doctor Who and Tom Chance in the series Chance in a Million. He is the author of the bestselling Being an Actor, as well as biographies of Oscar Wilde, Charles Laughton and Orson Wells. His autobiography, My Life in Pieces, won the Sheridan Morley Prize for Theatre Biography.
Chicago Shakespeare's presentation of Being Shakespeare at the Broadway Playhouse is emblematic of the wide scope of work presented through the Theater's World's Stage initiative-which brings the world's most exciting theatrical events to Chicago audiences in addition to presenting Chicago Shakespeare's work abroad. Since the inception of the World's Stage in 2000, Chicago Shakespeare Theater has imported international productions ranging from pedestrian-based live art events (Australia's one step at a time like this) to grand aerial and water spectacles (France's Compagnie Transe Express and Ilotopie), and hosted iconic theaters such as Shakespeare's Globe Theatre (London), The Abbey Theatre (Dublin), the Chekhov International Theatre Festival (Moscow) and La Comedie-Française (Paris). Additional World's Stage productions slated for 2012 include CST's presentation of the National Theatre of Scotland's music-driven Long Gone Lonesome at The Hideout (February 2-4, 2012) and the CST-commissioned world premiere Othello: The Remix-a "hip-hoptation" of Shakespeare's Othello presented by Chicago Shakespeare Theater at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre as part of the 37-play "Globe to Globe" festival for the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.
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