“Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow” – or so they say in Verona….
On Saturday December 1st, the Footscray Community Arts Centre will play host to the Dramawerkz production of Such Sweet Sorrow – a theatre piece following the life and works of William Shakespeare…. with a twist.
As Shakespeare grows and develops his craft, three women – the Weird Sisters – interfere and disrupt his life, as they push him to create more art, despite his struggles. Tragedy and art ensues, as those very same sisters who played a pivotal role in Macbeth’s undoing, act as instruments of fate, delivering prophecies to Shakespeare, transforming him into the iconic playwright known today, the world over.
Lisa Collins founded the Dramawerkz Academy in 2006. A graduate of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, Lisa spent over 20 years honing her craft as stage actor, children’s television presenter, director, script-writer and teacher. Her passion for encouraging young people to explore their creative potential through drama, led to the birth of Dramawerkz.
Mia Boonen is one of the many young people Lisa has encouraged and inspired. Together, Lisa and Mia have created Such Sweet Sorrow – a production almost two years in the making. Mia, (only 18 years of age) has provided the lyrics and music, whilst Lisa has handled the dialogue.
When the pair initially approached the idea at the beginning of 2017, the inspiration was clear – they were “interested in a play about the theatrical, where characters and actors were hugely intertwined. The text initially captured Shakespeare’s life on its own (without the sisters to interfere) and the music only really lived in the world of characters.”
The music originally began, with Mia transforming Shakespeare’s famous monologues into songs, but elevated, according to Mia, with the introduction of the ‘Weird Sisters’ concept, “The sisters really were a turning point in the project, because they opened the realm of discussion into ‘troubled artist syndrome.’ Fate vs free will and other questions about art – do we have to suffer to make things? Are we born artists or made into them? Are the things we make destined to be made?”
Despite the musical aspect of the show, Mia is reluctant to label the production an outright musical, saying, “I really loved how Shakespeare’s writing was poetic and clearly lent itself to musicality . . . The style of music is very much aimed at promoting the lyrics and the way it interrelates with the story, rather than being the focal point of the show. . . The music is ingrained in the dialogue . . . songs have Shakespeare’s spoken poetry intertwined within them – there’s often no separation between text and song.”
Mia has clearly been inspired by her time at Dramawerkz (11 years) and has been deeply influenced by Lisa’s leadership, becoming a leader herself – teaching at the school since 2014. Youths teaching youths – an important part of the process for Mia, “It’s amazingly important. Dramawerkz is a youth theatre organisation and our cast has been made up of youths . . . their contribution has grown throughout the creation of Such Sweet Sorrow. The performers have been engaged in almost all parts of the production – costuming, set, promotion – everything! It’s been an interactive process, we’ve been writing scenes and trialling with our group of performers for over a year, refining the script and music, until we reached our final product – this show!”
Twisting reality and fiction, Lisa Collins and Mia Boonen have created an intriguing and spell-binding alternate universe, for a man so deeply ingrained in our popular culture, he has indeed, become a character within our lives.
For more information, or to purchase tickets go to https://www.facebook.com/events/