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Written by Vern Thiessen
Directed by Katherine McRae
Starring Perry Piercy as Anne Hathaway
2016 is the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare and, alongside King Lear, we are delighted to present this solo piece from Canadian playwright, Vern Thiessen, in which Anne Hathaway presents her side of the story. It is a remarkable creative imagining, and Anne has much to say.
NB: According to Peter Ackroyd, the reference to Anne getting the second best bed isn’t as insulting as it reads. As his wife, Anne would automatically be entitled to 1/3 of his estate, although some like Germaine Greer have disputed this. However, “The ‘best’ bed in the household was that characteristically used by guests. The ‘second best bed’ was that reserved for the marital couple and, as such, is best seen as a testimony to their union” (Ackroyd, Shakespeare the Biography, p483-4)
Katherine McRae was most recently seen in Circa’s 40th anniversary production of Joyful and Triumphant. Originally trained as an actor, she began directing theatre in 1997 and from 2007 until 2014 she directed television full-time for South Pacific Pictures – from Shortland Street, to Nothing Trivial and Go Girls. Before working in television she directed theatre in Wellington, winning awards for many productions including Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People and Ken Duncum’s Cherish including Director and Production of the Year in 2003.
Since returning to live in Wellington in 2015, Katherine has been teaching and facilitating workshops in screen-acting and directing as well as directing five short films that were co-productions between the NZ Film School, Toi Whakaari and the IIML screenwriting course. She also directed a short comedy-drama for The Actors Program in Auckland called The Engagement Party.
Katherine recently wrote and directed a short film called Abandon Ship, which screened at the TIFF Kids Film Festival in Toronto in April.
Perry Piercy is enjoying being a freelancer again, after a decade of full time work. She is an award winning actor, director and Voice teacher, having recently completed a Masters in Voice Studies at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London.
A trained teacher and journalist, Perry spent time in England in 2011 at the Globe Theatre, studying Shakespeare performance.
She is currently establishing a Wellington based private Voice coaching practice. “It is a pleasure and a privilege to work with people to help them achieve the voice they want.”
On playing the role of Anne in Shakespeare’s Will, she says “Shakespeare, and everything about him has always fascinated me, it is a delight to be able to imagine a little way below the surface of what we know, and especially to think about what things might have been like for Anne, who kept the home fires burning while William was away.”
As part of the 2016 Circa Season we will be presenting a number of Play Readings throughout the year. In our 40th birthday year we are delighted to celebrate the 100+ New Zealand playwrights whose work has captivated our audiences over the years.
A Play Reading will include actors on stage reading the play in full, directed and rehearsed in advance of the public reading.
Tickets are available from the Circa Box Office or online.
To reserve a ticket, please call the Box Office on 04 801 7992.