ABU DHABI // The Globe Theatre Company, dedicated to presenting Shakespeare’s plays in authentic settings, will come to the UAE for the first time in March.
The company will present two performances of Macbeth as part of the two-week Abu Dhabi Festival, hosted by the Abu Dhabi Music and Art Foundation (Admaf).
In London, the company performs in a faithfully reconstructed open-air theatre that imitates the 17th century play-going experience.
Adrian Bourke, technical director of the Abu Dhabi Festival, said such authenticity was not possible in the UAE, but every effort was being made to deliver a show reminiscent of Shakespeare’s time.
“It won’t be just like going to the Globe, but the ethos of the Globe is coming with the company,” he said. “For example, where we would normally use computerised sound effects, they will all be produced by the company themselves.”
Audiences will see the full version of the “Scottish play”, which was first performed in the Globe in 1611 and tells the story of a general in the Scottish army and his wife who plot to murder the King of Scotland.
“It will be bloody and gory,” he said. “A very traditional version.”
The first performance will take place on March 21 at the Abu Dhabi Theatre, the second at a later date at the Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre.
The Abu Dhabi Festival, now in its eighth year, opens on March 19 and presents different artistic performances across the Emirates.
Also performing will be Sylvie Guillem, a French contemporary dancer from Sadler’s Wells London production company. Hoda Kanoo, the founder of Admaf and the festival, has called Guillem the “Margot Fontaine of this era”.
The opening night will be dedicated to Mozart, with the Lebanese pianist Abdel Rahman el Bacha accompanied by his protégé, the Ukrainian pianist Christia Hudziy, the violinist Nikita Borisoglebsky and Maxim Rysanov, who is one of the world’s greatest viola players.
Also, the Bolshoi and Mariinsky ballet companies will be performing, as well as the Russian National Orchestra.
Tickets go on sale today and cost between Dh225 and Dh495. A percentage of the profits will go towards the Ewa’a Shelter for women and children, victims of human trafficking, violence and abuse.