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In Search of Justice, Revenge, Wealth, Marriage or Happiness

The Shakespeare in the Park season at Takapuna’s PumpHouse is always the ‘real deal’ with plays presented true to era and in superb costumes. Shakespeare’s writings served as a mirror in which human beings saw themselves and over 400 years later his influence has far outlived his era. In 2013 Shoreside Theatre presents its 17th ever-popular summer season to growing audiences from the entire Auckland region.

Starting on January 19th, this real Shakespeare looks at revenge with both comedy and tragedy. “Hamlet”, arguably the greatest tragedy written in the English language alternates with the suspenseful and controversial comedy  “The Merchant of Venice”.
Some of Shakespeare’s most famous quotations are to be heard during the performances of both plays. Who is not aware of  “To be or not to be ...?” or  “If you prick us do we not bleed ?”   But these are only two of a large number of  electrifying phrases which have become part of today’s language.  The plays therefore tend to be familiar also to new audiences and constantly surprising.
The Merchant of Venice directed by Carol Dumbleton explores and celebrates a society of harmony and community but at it’s centre Shylock, the moneylender and Antonio, the merchant  are desperately solitary figures in their mutual hatred. When Shylock sees an opportunity to exact revenge, he grabs it.  In nearby Belmont, another kind of law must be observed when Portia is morally bound to respect the wishes of her late father.
Apart from the Bible, Hamlet is the most often-quoted work in the English language. Directed by James Bell it has become a rite of passage for directors and actors and has the richest performance history of any of Shakespeare’s plays. The young Hamlet struggles to find his place in a family disturbed as much by political events as by intimate relationships.  When Hamlet’s father appears as a ghost his son is commanded to take revenge.
If the words and predicaments of Shakespeare’s characters still move people throughout the world in 2013 it is because, it has been said, “he was not of an age but for all time!”
Shakespeare in the Park 2013 is performed live at The PumpHouse Arts Centre, Killarney Park, Takapuna from January 19th to February 16th.

Tickets are available from or by calling 489 8360. There will also be door sales an hour before the start of each show.
A special discount applies when bookings are made for both plays.

All but two of the shows in this Shakespeare season will be presented ‘under the stars’ in the Amphitheatre starting at 8pm. The performance of Hamlet on January 26 and The Merchant of Venice on February 02 will be inside the main auditorium and start at 7pm.

How do you stage the famous ghost scene of Hamlet on a cold and foggy night on the battlements of Elsinore Castle when it’s daylight saving and outdoors on an Auckland summer night? Find out how Shoreside Theatre did this by going to or

This innovation depicting when sentinels see a ghost that looks like the dead King Hamlet enables the introductory scene of the play to be experienced and a taste of the succeeding fare gained before patrons arrive at the Amphitheatre. Hamlet the son, resolves to see the ghost himself and you can too.

by Channel Editorial