2017 just wasn’t the same without Shakespeare in the Park. The beloved annual series by the Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT) was forcefully put on hold last year, when they failed to receive sufficient financial support.
In a 2016 report, artistic and managing director Gaurav Kripalani shared that costs of staging the event had risen to approximately $1.5 million in recent years—several hundreds of thousands more than in previous years. To remedy the situation, SRT started a crowdfunding campaign, SOS (Save our Shakespeare) Campaign, in an attempt to keep 2018’s show alive.
Loyal fans, particularly those who contributed to SRT’s campaign efforts, will be pleased to know that the show returns this May. Come May 2-27, SRT will be staging Julius Caesar in its well-loved setting of Fort Canning Park.
Directed by Guy Unsworth, the production will reimagine Shakespeare’s political thriller as a modern tale set against a backdrop of global current affairs. Images of the G20 (Group of Twenty) and N.A.T.O summits serve as the main inspiration, while Caesar’s conspirators take the shape of the seven leaders of the R.O.M.E countries.
Look forward to a seasoned cast well-versed in Shakespearean repertoire—Jo Kukathas (Romeo & Juliet) stars as Caesar, alongside Daniel Jenkins (Romeo & Juliet), Thomas Pang (Romeo & Juliet) and Julie Wee (The Merchant of Venice). We all know how the story ends, but as with all Shakespeare in the Park productions, the fun always lies in the staging.
That there would be a lack of state support for such an iconic series in Singapore is baffling, especially given Shakespeare in the Park’s continuous weight in the arts scene here. Funding from the public shouldn’t become something to get used to, but while it’s still needed, you can contribute your part here.
Julius Caesar opens May 2-27 at Fort Canning Park. Tickets start from $45 and you can purchase them here.