Sound like a typographical error? Or a pathetic attempt to get noticed…No it is a subtle way of sending out a message that this is Shakespeare as you have never seen before.
A well-known theatre company ditch their familiar name and adopt a name describing the totally manic nature of this production. This is how the members of Stagefright&Panic introduced their play, under or over the boards of the Lionel Wendt theatre in August 2001.
Stagefright&Panic was formerly known as StageLight&Magic Inc. To their loyal following of 28 people (most of whom are relatives of the Artistic Director) they have brought such magical productions as The Legend of Macbeth, Julius Caesar – The Anatomy of an Assassination, Widows, Accidental death of an Anarchist and most recently Death and the Maiden. Their work has been ground breaking, in fact they have broken much more than just ground in their productions, judging by the number of broken arms, legs, tables chairs etc. After a couple of years in existence StageLight&Magic Inc., have succumbed to the sad fact that their latest production has but one thing in common with their previous productions, that is the use of the stage. The light has been replaced by an unusual Stagefright which makes actors dither and slobber their lines, the magic has been replaced by a continuous state of panic which seems to run through the whole production…so the name change…..and Stagefright&Panic was born….
The Compleat wrks of Wllm Shkspr is as the Los Angeles Herald described it “Shakespeare as written by Readers Digest, performed by Monty Python and performed at the speed of the minute waltz. So forsooth! Get thee to the delightfully fractured complete works!”. The play is an attempt by three actors (who call themselves professionals who don’t get paid, simply because they are not worth a penny!) to “capture in a single theatrical experience, the magic, the genius, the towering grandeur, of the complete works of William Shakespeare”. In about 2 hours of non-stop bustle, blabber and blank verse the actors cover not just the 37 plays of the Bard of Avon but also manage to ‘do’ all the sonnets. “We have expunged much of Shakespeare’s subtle psychological insight, his carefully spun subplots, his well-honed social satire, and skipped right to the sex and killing” says a member of the cast speaking to us on the condition of anonymity.
The play was performed by Ifaz Bin Jameel, Anuruddha Fernando and Feroze Kamardeen. They claim to have extensive experience in theatre mostly derived from sneaking in to the Lionel Wendt auditorium during plays and munching through packs of potato chips. c. Anuruddha claims to have a large following of theatre lovers who clamour for tickets each time he performs (the clamour is to actually sell the tickets for at least half the price in front of the Lionel Wendt) and also says that he posses a bigger appetite (for food) than any other theatre personality! Feroze, is in the cast simply because the director of the play thinks that he is the best actor for the role. The play was directed by Feroze Kamardeen.
In a play where all major character roles are played by only 3 actors (and a stunt dummy, who turns in some sterling performances sometimes looking more lively than the 3 actors!) the costumes play a vital role and Stagefright&Panic succeeded in convincing the extremely talented Ms. Sonali White of the Haddai label to design the extensive range of costumes and to manage the wardrobe. Zafi Bin Jameel, designed and construct the various props and sateg sets required for the production.