Shakespearian love act in Jerusalem garden

Jerusalem does not have a great reputation as a centre for the classic arts. “Shakespeare Jerusalem” is making a strong challenge on that notion.

Last night, at the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens, the troupe performed a series of …well, I would call them loosely love themes, in public. Let me hurriedly explain.

The stage was set outside. The first act began with the onset of sunset, the end of another sweltering day. For those who do not know the holy city, this is usually the call for a strong cooling breeze to descend on the residents.

The actors performed sketches from 7 separate plays. The show casings were presented under the title “battle between the sexes”. How was it? Well, I listened to the reaction of the people around me. To be honest, I was almost bored as one after the other repeated the word “fantastic”. Over a thousand people just loved it.

After the intermission, we were exposed to a theatrical concert; a mix of Shakespeare’s flowing poetry and modern Hebrew sonnets. The production was excellent. The choice of songs, a potential disaster area, was superb. Lisa Woo’s vocal ability set the audience alight.

Yes, the atmosphere helped. The stage was partially surrounded by a large lake. On the other side, the high branches of the trees rustled, as in harmony. It was almost romantic, even for a sceptic like me.

A big round of applause to the sponsors, such as Mercantile Bank, who could see an unusual and badly needed opportunity. And I believe that the Jerusalem City Hall was also involved – about time!!!

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