A new Waterford theatre collective has been awarded almost €150,000 in Arts Council funding to stage an outdoor production of Shakespeare’s funniest comedy, ‘Twelfth Night’, next year.
‘Shakespeare Squared’, which is comprised of local theatre professionals Joe Meagher, Eimear Cheasty and Deirdre Dwyer, received the maximum funding possible under the Arts Council’s Theatre Project Awards 2023 to support their musical promenade production, which will wind its way through the streets of the city’s Viking Triangle next September. The production will feature a cast of professional actors and musicians performing a version of Shakespeare’s raucous romantic comedy which has been carefully adapted by Joe to suit an outdoor, promenade setting, taking advantage of the historic area’s striking architectural features and atmospheric landscaping.
“The name of our collective, ‘Shakespeare Squared’, was chosen to reflect our ambition to make plays like the works of Shakespeare as accessible to the public as they were in Shakespeare's time, by performing them in public spaces like our own Cathedral Square in the Viking Triangle”, commented Deirdre Dwyer. “We want to provide local and national audiences with excellent world class, locally made, theatre experiences and we are thrilled this has been recognised by the Arts Council in their awarding of such substantial funding to a Waterford collective. The funding will help to support artists and technicians by providing important employment opportunities to professionals in the region next year.”
Deirdre told WLR that their plans are to have "at least 10 performers employed for at least six weeks, 4 weeks of rehearsal and two weeks of performance. So there will be ten performers on the stage and a host of other creatives involved from designers, technicians, production managers and local events organisations. We've very clear where the money will be going we know how it has to be spent in order to make this two-week long performance "
Twelfth Night will be staged in collaboration with production partner Theatre Royal and tickets for this unique theatrical experience will be available from the theatre box office in the Spring of 2023. The production will be supported by Waterford City & County Council.