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Janie Dee to star in Hollywood Shakespeare celebration

Janie Dee. Photo: Robert Workman Janie Dee. Photo: Robert Workman
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Janie Dee is to star in a production at the Hollywood Bowl that celebrates Shakespeare’s lovers.

She will play both Cleopatra and Beatrice from Antony and Cleopatra, and Much Ado About Nothing respectively.

In addition, her portrayal of Cleopatra will feature in a production at the Barbican on October 4, which will see the BBC Symphony Orchestra performing Schmitt’s Antoine and Cleopatre. Dee and other actors will perform Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra text, which will be underscored by the music.

Both shows are a partnership with Shakespeares’s Globe.

The show at the Hollywood Bowl features the Los Angeles Philharmonic and takes place on August 30 and September 1. It will feature four pieces of music inspired by Shakespeare. These are Korngold’s Much Ado About Nothing, Schmitt’s Antoine and Cleopatre, Berlioz’s Romeo and Juliette and Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet.

The music will underscore performances of Shakespeare’s texts, with Dee playing Beatrice alongside Simon Paisley Day’s Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, and Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra. Paisley Day will also play Antony.

Dee told The Stage: “To play Cleopatra is a dream come true. The passion she has is extraordinary and it will be exciting to play that.”

Dee said the event would be projected on to screens at the venue in Hollywood, giving it a “filmic” element.

She said playing Beatrice was a return to the character for her, as she played it in 2005, alongside Aden Gillett and directed by Peter Hall.

The Globe said the theme of the event was “lovers ageing in reverse”.

“The mature strife of Antony and Cleopatra absolves into the secretly torturous love of Beatrice and Benedick, ending in the tragic passion of Romeo and Juliet,” it said.

Both productions are directed by Iqbal Khan, current director of Macbeth at the Globe, and are being adapted by Bill Barclay, the Globe’s director of music.

The performances will be semi-staged.

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