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THEATRE SET-UP Ltd.

The archive of Europe and UK's most-established open-air Shakespeare touring theatre company.

IN MAINLAND EUROPE

Since 1993 Theatre Set-Up has performed in castles, theatres and other venues in Norway, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Sarajevo, (in Bosnia Hertzegovina) and Luxembourg.

1. NORWAY


Theatre Set-Up performed annually in July in the courtyard of the BARONIET OF ROSENDAL on the Hardanger fiord some distance from Bergen.

4. GERMANY, DENMARK, SWEDEN, SARAJEVO and LUXEMBOURG


In 1997 Theatre Set-Up represented the UK in the first international MES festival to be performed since the end of the troubles there:


Theatre Set-Up performed annually in late June in the Domein De Renesse, Oostmalle, near Antwerp. In past years there have been performances in Brugge, Gent, Brussels, Faimes, and Bilzen.


For several years the company performed in the Glimmingehus castle in Sweden.

2. BELGIUM and THE NETHERLANDS


Each year in late June Theatre Set-Up performed in the castles of Muiderslot (15 km from Amsterdam), Kasteel Doorwerth and Kasteel Ammersoyen.


In 1993 the company performed in De Nieuwe Kerk in the centre of Amsterdam.

All’s well that ends well at the Baroniet Rosendal, Norway 2008

Mistress Overdone in The Taming of the Shrew at the Baroniet Rosendal, Norway 1994

REVIEW (Translation)            BERGENS TEDENDE 19.7.97


I have seen the Norwegian National Theatre perform Shakespeare in the Norwegian language and have seen Theatre Set-Up perform "Twelfth Night" in English and I now realise that to appreciate all the finer nuances of language Shakespeare's plays have to be performed in English..


Theatre Set-Up's interpretation of "Twelfth Night" is a joy from the moment Tony Portaccio' Orsino steps on stage to say, "If music be the food of love, play on". With this one line, the language gives meaning to the play. Theatre Set-Up remains true to the original text and it is this that makes the performance so enjoyable.


As always in Shakespeare, the character of the clown is the easiest to perform. Giovanni del Vecchio as Feste gives a joyous performance and he proves to be unstoppable as Feste as he and Sir Toby Belch take careful control of the insecure Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Richard Ashley gives an excellent performance as Sir Toby, the corpulent and bearded charmer with a twinkle in his eye. The increasingly stupid and clumsy Sir Andrew is well played by James Kingdom. Theatre Set-Up's leader, Wendy Macphee, plays the mischievous companion, Maria, who is Olivia's handmaiden. Sir Toby, Feste and Maria have a victim in the straight-laced Malvolio who is tricked to approach Olivia as a clown-like charmer. The contrasts are played with believable humour by Iain Armstrong. Emma Reynolds is fresh and natural in the role of Viola and plays with the bubbling linguistic discipline which is the hallmark of the ensemble. Mildly and beautifully she finds the balance between hiding and revealing her secret identity with the love-hungry Orsino. Susanah Coleman as Olivia is radiantly beautiful in all the changes from the cold manner in which she rejects Orsino to the eager pursuit of Cesario.


This is a lively "Twelfth Night" with a cast that knows how to bring out the musical element of the play.

The exquisite glittering costumes looked marvellous against the white walls of the Baroniet Rosendal.


A joyous "Twelfth Night" in Rosendal.

As You Like It at Slot Loevestein, 2002

"The capacity audience was engrossed in the play"

(Brabants Dagblad, 22 June 2002)

REVIEW (in English - well sort of…)


Ystads allehanda 20 aug -94 A 'Shrew", full of vitality


In Glimminghus Theatre Set-up are now playing William Shakespeares "The taming of a shrew" till saturday and on thursday evenings opening night there where a lot of people and a lot of laughs.

"The Shrew" is one of Shakespeares first four comedies and in this times of equality it meets some resistans both from audiences and from actors. It seems like Shakespeares earlier production has become more popular than ever before. That depends on that they go back to where Shakespeare got his vitality from, the medival Commedia dellarte tradition. In this tradition the plays are full of situation-comedy, and the story is only a frame.

The way of playing is by no meens simple, it takes enormous energy, fantasy, keen ears and a body thats in a good shape. It is a joy to meet Theatre Set-Up this evening, because their "Shrew" is exuberant with vitality, and at the same time has the leading parts been nuanced.

So the Shrew, Kate, Libby Machin, easily gets your sympathy since her rage always has a reasonoble cause. Her sister Bianca ( Joanna Barrie) is not the little girl, that we are used to see, no, she's an opportunist who is pretending to cry to turn everyone against her older sister. You laughingly remember your own childhood there.

The Petruchio of Tony Portacio is not as much a brute, and he has the ability to entice Kate into laughing, and sometimes at herself. Each actor has at least three characters and the changes are very fast. There is no problem in understanding and the ironi and satir bungs many laughs and spontaneous applauses. The contact with the audience were fantastic (I myself got the honourable task to be the fireplace in Petruchios home).

And with all this humour and ironi one even accepts Kate’s monologue about obidiance to your husband. That’s how to tame a shrew.



Mia Löwgren