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Universal values, shown by Shakespeare’s women

Catherine of Aragon, Lady Macbeth, Ophelia, Titania and other women in Shakespeare’s plays transcend political, social and geographical barriers, as the “Theatre of Eternal Values” shows on 25 February.

By Shirley L. Kearney

Basel is a capital of culture and music with something on offer to suit every taste. This is obvious by the announcements posted at every turn throughout the city. Other media, including online links and news broadcasts on some trams and buses, crowd our eyes.

But one group transcends barriers: “The Theatre of Eternal Values” (TEV) is an international theatre company founded in 1996 by a group of artists and professionals dedicated to human and artistic development.  The company has toured the world for the past 17 years, staging original productions and adaptations of works from Molière to Shakespeare, from Blake to Pirandello – works that express the truly universal values that reach beyond political, social and geographical barriers.

TEV is also dedicated to educating young people and using art to promote the values of integration.  “Shakespeare’s Women” was written by a member of the company; it uses some of the Bard’s words and weaves them into a modern text.

In 2014, the TEV introduced a limited audience to some of “Shakespeare’s Women”, which was more or less dealt with as a trial programme. Now the news is out: a refined and expanded programme features Catherine of Aragon, one of Henry VIII’s wives; Lady Macbeth, a deadly power behind the throne; Ophelia, a victim of Hamlet’s power plays; Titania, momentarily fooled by Puck during a Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Joan of Arc dressed in period clothing. They all come alive on stage while narrating adapted and original text.

Personalities, male and female, feed our Shakespearean curiosity. The title of the performance is “Shakespeare’s Women”, but, as is usual with Shakespeare, it is also about his men.

Thursday 25th February
7pm in the Theater BFS, Kohlenbergstrasse 11
15 CHF (students) / 30 CHF
For tickets: Telephone +41 77 454 63 23 – or
email – isabelle.chariatte@unibas.ch

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