Prepare to witness a performance like no other as The reFASHIONed Theatre opens at Selfridges with MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING presented by critically-acclaimed theatre company, The Faction/
On the occasion of Shakespeare400, Selfridges are opening a fully-fledged theatre complete with workships, rare access to rehearsals and a new production of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING. As the revolutionary store fame for introducing retail theatre to Europe, this is the next logical step for Selfridges – another world first.
To creat The reFASHIONed Theatre, Selfridges are joining forces with one of the most exciting emerging young British theatre companies in the UK, The Faction. With a reputation for contemproary Shakespeare productions and innovative collaborations, The Faction are the perfect partner for this unique venture.
Continuing Selfriges ethos of ‘all are welcome’, The Faction will offer audiences the chance to peer into rehearsals. Like the famous Selfridges window displays give a thearical glimpse of what lays in store, this window onto the rehearsal process will present audiences with a daily insight into the devlopment of a play from rehearsals to performances as well as offering opportunities to interact with the cast and creatives. Partners such as make-up brand MAC, will offer a workshop allowing visitors the chance to get back-stage and up-close to the creation of on-stage characters.
The reFASHIONed Theatre, an intimate 100-seat auditorium with a traverse, raised catwalk stage, is not just any pop-up. This complete theatre experience also includes a traditional box office, a designer royal box, a furniture designer and bespoke rig from Whitelight.
One of Shakespeare’s best, and best-loved, comedies, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING contrasts the classic love story of Claudio and Hero with the ‘merry war’ of two of his most dazzling and original wits: Beatrice and Benedick. Whilst outside forces attempt to thwart Cluadio and Hero’s wedding, Beatrice and Benedick’s families and friends conspire to bring them into married bliss. The play’s society is one where appearance and presentation are everything and rumour and gossip can be lethal. THis contemporary production occupies a distinctly 21st century landscape of high style, tabloid journalism, CCTV and iconic events.
Director Mark Leipacher comments, This play offers a world in which fasion, appearance, and social standing are of paramount importance and rumour, gossip and insinuation can be lethal. And, in Beatrice and Benedick, we have two of Shakespeare’s wittiest creations to play around with! Everyone at The Faction is delighted to be collaborating with Selfridges to create this new production for the Shakespeare Refashioned project. It’s an ambitious, innovative and wild idea – exactly the way we should be celebrating Shakespeare400.
A company of nine acotrs will perform in this exciting and ambitious production plus five ‘digital cameos’ will be pre-recorded and appear in projected CCTV footgae digitally mapped onto mannequins manipulated by the live company.
The Faction is part of the next generation of classical theatre making for both artists and audiences. WHilst Shakespeare remains the backbone of their work, they also work interpreting other classic texts with a contemporary aesthetic to engage and excite local, national and international audiences. Building a diverse ensemble with a rolling repertoire, The Faction is a sustainable arts organisation for the 21st century.
Shakespeare reFASHIONed is one of Selfridges’ most ambitious themed store-wide campaigns with a mix of bespoke window creations by leading fashion designers, special product collaborations and The reFASHIONed Theatre.
Selfridges is bringing modernity and heritage together on the same schedule, by inviting RADA to work alongside The Faction within the reFASHIONed Theatre. From 4th July, RADA will precede The Faction with a two-week residency to teach visitors stagecraft workshops and masterclasses – effectively an actor’s trainmen – including audition and feedback workshops, production techniques classes and an introduction to dance and stage combat.
Selfridges has been a top London destination and UK landmakr for over a century, challenging the rules of retail from its inception. American entrepreneur Harry Gordon Selfridge, nicknamed ‘the showman of shopping’, launched his eponymous store in 1909. From the outset it was a retail revolution. For the first time customers were allowed to browse and touch products on display which in itself was a dramatic change, but Harry Selfridge’s own passion for the stage and the art of entertainment drove him to instil every aspect of the retail experience at his store with a sense of theatrical excitement. Retail theatre was born. Theatre and entertainement have been part of Selfridges’ DNA ever since.
Unmistakably Shakespeare. Uniquely Selfridges. Let the performance begin.
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
Selfridges, 400 Oxford Street, London
Open Rehearsals: 18th July – 22nd August – Monday to Saturday at 6pm
Show Dates: 23rd August – 24th September – Tuesday to Saturday at 7:30pm and Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 2:30pm