A more in depth look at Shakespeare in Dubrovnik and a meeting with Filip Krenus, the man who will bring him to life in the Pearl of the Adriatic this summer.
This one is not the English Maestro’s (Shakespeare’s) first encounter with Dubrovnik. Not at all! Remember that he quoted the historic merchant ship of type ‘Argossy’, the pride of Dubrovnik’s shipbuilding industry, in that intricate plot of The Merchant of Venice. He must have known he was to visit many times over, until the end of he world. Okay, okay, of art. Agreed.
Yesterday I had a nice chat on this coming visit with the person whose admiration for the English theatre and, especially the actors and their skills, brought him from his native Osijek (Croatia), to England to study acting. Filip Krenus is a lucky guy, indeed. Not only has he become an actor in England, but he has also seen his dream of doing something in Croatia come true. In English. And if you want your dreams about Shakespeare come true, then the only genuine road leads to Dubrovnik. Period. And, yes, this is almost a verbatim quote by Daniel Day-Lewis when he played Hamlet on this same stage back then in late 80’s.
Filip thinks the same. St. Lawrence’s Fortress, whichever way you set a stage, is the most perfect setting for, practically, every work by that genius of the quill.
What a better illustration than this upcoming production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream? And here is why: a phantasmagoric fairy tale with unrealistic characters and utterly complicated and intriguing plot,meant to be set at least right in front of a forest, if not right inside one, now set on, however beautiful, yet simple and plain medieval fortress!
I congratulate Filip on the courage. He thinks it is also a comedy of errors (oh yes, of many errors – people in it want to get married all the time!). But what matters is the clarity of direction. Filip is sure the cuts have been done masterfully so that the audience can follow the plot easily. There are some essential stage props, and many quick costume changes.
Lights will do their job, as they always do. As the former manager of the Summer Festival, I trust him totally and I am so looking forward. Over the last four seasons, the Honey-Tongued Theatre Productions from London and the Brilliant Events Productions from Dubrovnik have proven how Shakespeare, while speaking English in Croatia, is irresistible, incredible, eternal, immortal and what have you. They get invitations to other countries. Just an example: their production of The Twelfth Night (or As You Like it), had 40 consecutive sold out evenings in Vienna in November/December of last year. Enough said.
And they care to say how all of that would be impossible without an immense support by the City of Dubrovnik and the Dubrovnik Tourist Board.
In conclusion, Filip does not share my impression that while creating all those unrealistic characters, Shakespeare must have been high.
The impression comes to me every time I think of this piece – so unreal, such a fairy tale, so imaginary, imaginative…. Or was he simply just a genius born?
A Midsummer Nights Dream will be performed from the 24th of June, to the 5th of July, 2017. For all information, to see the actors and to reserve tickets, click here.