Shaking UP Shakespeare

Posted on May 05, 2016

To mark the 400th anniversary of the deaths of Shakespeare and Cervantes, the Merensky Library, the Languages Cluster and the Drama Department organised a week of celebrations from 18 to 22 April 2016.

Shakespeare films ranging from Hamlet to Gnomeo and Juliet were shown in the Merensky Auditorium, book displays were mounted in the library and students were encouraged to enter a Shakespeare writing competition.

On Friday, 22 April, the 'Death Day' was commemorated with a lively morning of talks and performances. Prof Molly Brown, from the Department of English, shared ten startling facts about Shakespeare and gave a talk about African responses to his work and Prof Willie Burger from the Department of Afrikaans spoke about Cervantes's enduring influence. Postgraduate students, Ms Marguerite de Waal and Ms Kirsten Dey, described their research and Ms Angy Tembe read Cervantes in the original Spanish, followed by an English translation of the extract. The programme concluded with performances by the second-year drama students who had worked with Mr Morné Steyn and Ms Jessica Foli to produce vibrant South African re-workings of familiar Shakespeare scenes and characters. (Who knew Macbeth liked biltong?)

Over tea, everyone present agreed that rumours of the deaths of these writers were greatly exaggerated!


- Author Faculty of Humanities

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