• Henry IV / Britainy Zapshalla

Shakespeare Lab’s artists celebrating the Bard’s untold tales

We all know the story of Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and Macbeth but Shakespeare has a whole catalogue of tales that many of us know little about. It’s those stories that the artists’ collective Shakespeare Lab is diving into for a month-long run.

Armed with an all-star cast, the group is presenting Henry IV Part 1 and Henry IV Part 2 in succession to kick off 2018. Rob van Meenen, Blaine Hart, Gordon Portman, Will Brooks and Danielle Spilchen will be returning to the Lab’s stage joined by newcomers Carmen Grant, Elizabeth Nepjuk and Bruce McKay.

“Quite often, the plays that get produced here in Saskatchewan, you know the stories and what’s coming next,” says Shakespeare Lab’s founder Skye Brandon. “I think Henry IV, both parts, are the best plays he’s ever written. This is a chance to discover the Shakespeare you don’t know, where you don’t know the ending. That’s pretty rare!”

”This is a chance to discover the Shakespeare you don’t know. Where you don’t know the ending. That’s pretty rare!”

These productions will feature costumes, lighting, sets and choreographed fight scenes that will delight audiences. These are stories about family, friendship, power and responsibility.

Brandon says performing both parts in the Bard’s repertory offers audiences a unique opportunity to see these plays in succession.

“Audiences shouldn’t have to go somewhere else to see these plays.” Brandon explains, “We have now grown to a point where we have a pool of actors capable of handling these roles. It really says a lot about the caliber of arts community we have right here in Saskatoon.”

Following the plays’ openings (Jan. 5 & 6, 2018), they will be presented on alternating nights (Part 1 Tuesdays and Thursdays, Part 2 Wednesdays and Fridays) on the weekdays and on Saturdays, audiences will be able to see Part 1 in the afternoon and Part 2 in the evening.

This run will be even more accessible with the show’s “Pay What You Want” initiative. The public can pay between $5-$20 for each show. All performances are being staged at the John Mitchell Building (North Theatre) on the University of Saskatchewan campus.

More detailed information on tickets can be found here.