Actor Patti Allan on set during a rehearsal of Taking Shakespeare, which streams online through June 13, courtesy of the Belfry Theatre. (Photo by Mark Halliday Creative Team)

Actor Patti Allan on set during a rehearsal of Taking Shakespeare, which streams online through June 13, courtesy of the Belfry Theatre. (Photo by Mark Halliday Creative Team)

Take your Shakespeare in a virtual stream through Victoria’s Belfry Theatre

Theatre offers John Murrell play online, future summer shows may remain virtual

John Murrell’s Taking Shakespeare, a two-person play performed as a filmed reading, has begun its six-show virtual run at the Belfry Theatre.

The play sees first-year university student, Murph (Austin Eckert), take up tutoring with Prof (Patti Allan), an unpopular instructor nearing retirement. Prof shares her passion for Shakespeare with Murph, ignoring their differences and Murph’s disinterest, and the two start to better understand each other through reading Othello.

According to director Michael Shamata, the 84-minute play encompasses fragility, sensitivity to others’ needs and the strength of friendship.

Belfry marketing and communications manager Mark Dusseault said the theatre may continue pre-recording performances until as late as September, acknowledging the unique nature of selling digital theatre. He estimated the Belfry currently has about 1,000 season ticket holders and about 200 additional ticket sales have been made so far for Taking Shakespeare.

RELATED STORY: Victoria’s Belfry Theatre shows filmed play on refugee, sponsor experience

Patrons can stream the play online daily until June 13, with viewing available only on the day selected.

Taking Shakespeare is occupying time slots previously allocated for streaming Same Old Same Old, the filming of which has been delayed by provincial health orders and is planned for later this month.

Those who purchased the Belfry’s spring 2021 subscription package can access the play for free. Regular tickets for online viewing are $25.

For more details and purchasing tickets, go to belfry.bc.ca/taking-shakespeare/.


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