As part of the 2013 Adelaide Fringe children's program Holden Street Theatre Co. Inc. & The Recycled Theatre Co are presenting Shakespeare for Kids from 22 February to 10 March in The Studio, Holden Street Theatres, 34 Holden Street Hindmarsh.
Based on Charles and Mary Lamb's (1775-1834) Tales from Shakespeare, the season is the first of its kind at an Adelaide Fringe and features four of Shakespeare's classic plays; A Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo & Juliet Hamlet, Prince of Denmark and The Tempest, and performed by five local actors; Joanna Webb, Kate Dayman, Tom Cornwall, Peter Watson, Stephanie Hall, Directed by Martha Lott with Lighting Design by Tony Moore.
Shakespeare for Kids' spokesperson Martha Lott said, 'Whilst the original plays were written by William Shakespeare somewhere around the 1600's Lamb's version of the stories were written by Charles and his older sister Mary Lamb in 1807.
'The stories are told with classical theatrical devices and good old stage craft. The language is brought to life by the actors and a narrator leads the story telling all offering a door to the imagination of the observer. Our production blends Lamb's Tales and the language of old in recycled, gluten free, organic theatre for children of all ages.'
Tales from Shakespeare reduced the archaic English and complicated storyline of Shakespeare to a simple level that children could read and comprehend. In all twenty stories were adapted from the selected plays. Four illustrated versions of the book followed in 1899, 1909, 1910 and 1934.
Next to Charles' essays, Tales from Shakespeare is his best-known work.
Lamb wrote; 'These tales are meant to be submitted to the young reader as an introduction to the study of Shakespeare, for which purpose his words are used whenever it seemed possible to bring them in; and in whatever has been added to give them the regular form of a connected story, diligent care has been taken to select such words as might least interrupt the effect of the beautiful English tongue in which he wrote: therefore, words introduced into our language since his time have been as far as possible avoided.'