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Freetong Players welcomes theatre art revival

February 29, 2016 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma

Chief Executive Officer of Freetong Players Friday said theatre art was not dead in the country and that they were poised to take it to another level.

Charlie Haffner was speaking at a press conference organised by the British Council and partners to mark the celebration of William Shakespeare’s 450th anniversary.

He noted that theatre had stopped flourishing in the country, but express optimism that the introduction of ‘Shakespeare’s Lives Global Programme’ would help revive the art in Sierra Leone.

He said the ‘Shakespeare’s Lives Global Programme’ was significant because it would help promote English language and the appreciation of Shakespeare’s works for students of Literature in the country.

Country Director of British Council Sierra Leone, Simon Ingram-Hill, said the press conference was to inform the general populace about a two day event that would take place on 8th and 9th March, 2016 at the British Council Hall, on Shakespeare’s Lives in 2016, organised by Freetong  Player.

He disclosed that on 8 March this year junior and senior secondary schools would take part in a knock-out competition, which will be followed by a performance of Shakespeare’s Hamlet on 9 March.

“William Shakespeare, without doubt, was the most famous writer of plays in the English-speaking world, who was born on 23 April, 1566 and died on the same day, 23 April, 1616, four hundred years ago,” said Mr. Ingram-Hill.

He quoted British Prime Minister David Cameron to have said that ‘Shakespeare’s still lives in our language, culture and society.’

He added that ‘Shakespeare Lives’ would be graced by some unprecedented global programme of events and activities celebrating William Shakespeare’s work on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of his death.

“It is an invitation to the world to join in the festivities by participating in a unique online collaboration and experiencing the work of Shakespeare directly on stage, through film, exhibitions and in schools,” he reiterated.

He said it was good news for Sierra Leoneans to be able to understand the books of Shakespeare and that soliloquies are not entirely about the 17th century but also the present.

He said the significance of Shakespeare Lives 2016 in Sierra Leone went back to the performance of Hamlet at Red Dragon Ship, which wasanchored in the territorial waters of Sierra Leone in September 1607.

Elvira M.J. Bobson-Kamara, Principal of Freetown Secondary School for Girls and President of Sierra Leone Centre of International Theatre Institution, said over 70 schools applied to take part in the competition but only 50 were chosen.

Accordingly to Dennis Nelson Streeter, 8 March would be full of festivities marking the celebration of ‘Shakespeare Lives’ in Sierra Leone and that there would live stage performance by winners of the competition.

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