REINVENTING SHAKESPEARE: Selfridges has opened the doors to the Refashioned Theatre, as part of its ongoing Shakespeare Refashioned project.
The theatre — the first of its kind to launch in a department store — consists of an intimate auditorium that seats 122 people and is located in the Oxford street store’s lower ground floor.
In collaboration with the Faction, an emerging theatre company based in the U.K., the retailer will put up a 5-week contemporary production of Shakespeare’s famous comedy, “Much Ado About Nothing,” in the new space.
A mix of young British actors such as Daniel Boyd known for his role in BBC’s “The Hollow Crown” and established Shakesperean actors, including Simon Callow and Meera Syal, make up the cast.
The performance aims to offer a 21st-century interpretation of the famous play and as part of this “refashioning,” Callow and Syal will star in a series of pre-recorded digital cameos accompanying the live acts, which will be projected on to the theatre in the form of news reports or CCTV.
Tickets are prized at 20 pounds or $26 and the performance will run for five weeks, until the end of September.
The British retailer launched “Shakespeare Refashioned” — its longest-running project to date — last June, partnering with a series of designers, musicians, photographers and drama schools to mark the 400th anniversary of the playwright’s death.
“Shakespeare is part of the fabric of our creative world and of contemporary society. The words spoken, the images evoked, the dreams realized are of our time and his,” said Linda Hewson, creative director at Selfridges. “The creatives brought together in celebration of Shakespeare’s life and works will tell stories we imagine the Bard would be proud of.”
Before the launch of the Refashioned Theater, the retailer had teamed with the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art on a two-week residency, offering a series of acting workshops.
Designers including Christopher Kane, Craig Green, Dries van Noten and Simone Rocha offered archival or one-off couture pieces inspired by Elizabethan times and Shakespeare’s plays to dress the store’s Oxford street windows. Kane, for instance, reimagined “Romeo and Juliet” with an embroidered tulle and lace gown dripping with rose petals and featuring the silhouette of two lovers, a signature motif of his fall 2015 collection with “lover’s lace.”
In addition, rapper Little Simz is set to partner with emerging designer Caitlin Price to re-create Shakespeare’s poetry during a music event held during London Fashion Week in September, following Price’s presentation which will be held as part of Fashion East.