phone mail2 facebook twitter play whatsapp
Interview with Mark Leipacher : Shakespeare at Selfridge’s
Image Credit: Shakespeare ReFASHIONEDed - Matt Writtle

Interview with Mark Leipacher : Shakespeare at Selfridge’s

20 August 2016 Stephanie Brandhuber

To mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, Selfridge’s has launched The refashioned Theatre, a pop-up space that will host a programme of exciting theatrical performances, including a collaboration with The Faction, one of the most exciting young British theatre companies in the UK with a reputation for contemporary Shakespeare productions and innovative collaborations. We sat down with Mark Leipacher, Artistic Director of The Faction, who talked to us about bringing his theatre company’s 21st century re-working of Shakespeare’s classic Much Ado About Nothing to the famous British department store.

LC: How does this production of Much Ado About Nothing differ from all those that have come before it?
 
Mark Leipacher: Well we’re treating it as a play for now, so it’s a distinctly 21st century landscape that the production’s set in. We’re 21st century theatre-makers, we’ve got a 21st century audience, so it makes sense to treat it as a 21st century play. So much of the play is about how style and reputation and social standing are important in society, and how a tiny piece of gossip can spread like wildfire and undermine that reputation. So it felt like something for a social media age.
 
LC: What is having the play staged in Selfridge’s going to bring to the production?
 
ML: Well, first of all we’re very hopeful that it brings in a new audience and that people are excited about the idea of it, perhaps people who haven’t been theatre-goers before. So that’s quite exciting. There have been a number of events for "Shakespeare400" and actually we wanted The Faction to be a part of that and to be doing something a bit mischievous, and something a bit unexpected because that felt like the right way to honour Shakespeare. In terms of the production itself, I think given that it’s a society that is very much about high style, and about social standing, about prestige, that absolutely fits with Selfridges as a location.
 
LC: What is particularly exciting to you about the production?
 
ML: The cast is really exciting. We’ve got a really exciting quality bunch of people with real theater pedigree about them. And we also have some digital cameos, so pre-recorded appearances of people that will be appearing as journalists or security guards on the CCTV, projected in the space, so those are two really exciting elements of the production.
 
LC: How do you think modernized versions of Shakespeare stand up against more traditional ones?
 
ML: I think it’s important to think of Shakespeare as having universal themes. So although this is a contemporary interpretation, it’s not been dumbed-down in any way. It’s been about treating it as if it were a piece of new writing and finding an imaginative response to the play that’s fresh. So hopefully it’s something that our audience will see a freshness and an immediacy in that perhaps they wouldn’t expect from more traditional productions. But the play itself is still absolutely the play, the same play, and I think that’s important.
 
LC: The Faction is all about re-working classical texts. What is your aim in doing so?
 
ML: The thing that attracts us to classical texts is that their themes tend to be universal. These are texts that deal with broad human themes. That’s why they’ve lasted as long as they have. And that’s also why there’s such cultural exchange in them. That’s why these plays travel the globe and they’re taken on by different cultures. It’s because there’s something in them that communicates with people on a human level. So I think that there’s a way of using classical texts to speak to the age that you’re in, in a way that deals on a fundamental human emotional level. And I think that’s what’s really exciting to us theatre makers, it’s the universality of those themes.
 
LC: What is one of your favourite London performance spaces?
 
ML: For the last few years, we've had our home at the New Diorama Theatre and that’s a fantastic space for emerging ensembles, and is absolutely a place people should check out. And the Southwark Playhouse has an amazing vibe to it too. Wilton’s Music Hall is also an amazing space that’s got a wonderful history and vibe about it, so those are the big three for [The Faction] in London in terms of the places that we’ve been that all have a special place in our hearts and should be appealing to a wide group of people.
 
The Faction will be performing at The refashioned Theatre from the 23rd-24th August. Book tickets online.
 
 

Tell us what you think

You may also like

A Disturbingly Provocative Play

A Disturbingly Provocative Play

‘We can both pretend - that it’s all pretend’ says Kristina (played by Thalissa Teixeira) after she witnesses an act of complete betrayal between her fiancé and…

The Everywhere Bear

The Everywhere Bear

A beautiful new story from best-selling author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Rebecca Cobb springs to life in Polka’s fun and exciting stage adaptation.

“My first ever job is in a play that I love!”

“My first ever job is in a play that I love!”

For 23-year-old Chris, life accelerated to whirlwind speed when he had to finish his studies at the most prestigious drama school in the land early,…

Having a good time, Old Sport?

Having a good time, Old Sport?

‘The Great Gatsby’ is on countless people’s “favourite book of all time” list, and even for those who haven’t actually read it, the title alone immediately awakens…

“Will you play spies with me?”

“Will you play spies with me?”

The latest offering from Rogue Productions, Lamplighters is part theatre, part game, part interactive comedy. Performed in the Old Red Lion Theatre in Islington, the…

This week: 30 July – 5 August

This week: 30 July – 5 August

Did you survive the heatwave? It seems like it's ok to come out again. If you are stuck in the city this summer, fear not…

“This may be the first show of its kind”

“This may be the first show of its kind”

Dean Rodgers, founder of Rogue productions, and actor Neil Connolly have been pioneers of the immersive movement in London since its inception. They’ve had their fingers…

Most popular

Win a tree house space for up to 10 people at Beautiful Allotment and two bottles of bubbly courtesy of The Geffrye Museum

Beautiful Allotment & Geffrye Museum - Win a tree house space for up to 10 people at Beautiful Allotment and two bottles of bubbly courtesy of The Geffrye Museum

No plans yet for Bank Holiday Sunday 26 August? How about your very own pocket of serene English countryside in the city!
AIM to Win 5 Tickets to Psychopath’s Den Immersive Escape Room Experience!

Aim Escape - AIM to Win 5 Tickets to Psychopath’s Den Immersive Escape Room Experience!

Can you escape a dreadful fate, or will you become another blood stained, or blood drained, statistic?
Win a pair of tickets for ‘Lucky: Songs By Kylie’

Crazy Coqs/Live at Zedel - Win a pair of tickets for ‘Lucky: Songs By Kylie’

Award-winning cabaret sensation Michael Griffiths will spin you around with his tribute to Kylie Minogue!
Win tickets to Thomas Cole: Eden to Empire!

National Gallery - Win tickets to Thomas Cole: Eden to Empire!

Enter for the chance to win a pair of tickets to the National Gallery's Thomas Cole: Eden to Empire Exhibition.
This week: 30 July – 5 August

This week: 30 July – 5 August

Stuck in the city this summer? Lucky you!
Win a pair tickets to Blood Wedding

Omnibus Theatre - Win a pair tickets to Blood Wedding

This contemporary adaptation of celebrated Spanish dramatist Federico García Lorca’s tragedy is set in modern day London.
Sounds and Sorcery

Sounds and Sorcery

The Vaults are host to an inventive and imaginative conception of Disney’s cult film ‘Fantasia’, interpreted as an immersive environment of installations and performance.

Your inbox deserves a little culture!!