A Midsummer Night's Dream
Shakeshorts presents A Midsummer Night's Dream was nominated for a Premju għall-Arti (national arts award) 2018.
Il-Premju għall-Arti is an initiative of Arts Council Malta through the National Fund for Artistic Excellence within the Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Government.
Shakeshorts presents A Midsummer Night's Dream was commissioned by and first performed at ŻiguŻajg International Arts Festival for Children and Young People, in November 2016
Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears! I come to present Shakespeare like he hath never been seen before upon thine eyes! Aye, tis true - thou must believe me - Shakespeare’s plays are most full of jollity, excitement and naughtiness… perfect for young minds full of mischief.
Shakeshorts presenteth unto you, a rendition of Shakespeare that hath been condensed in length and acted out in brevity using wit, jest and silly hats.
This most excellent show is written by Chris Dingli (with the help of one William Shakespeare), and is presented by no more bodies than can sit in the front seat of a carriage. In duration, it lasts less than the length of time it takes to wax a coxcomb (under an hour). Thy kids will not sit passively by
and watch some old (well 30-something) fart drone on about the Big S. Nay! Children verily will be encouraged to participate and will experience to world of the play itself!
Written and performed in a humorous style that will allow children to enjoy the stories, and identify with themes and characters whilst gaining confidence with the language, Shakeshorts is most certainly an excellent introduction to Shakespeare (and medieval insults, but that’s just a bonus).
In 2023, there are three Shakespeare plays and one adaptation of the George Orwell classic, Animal Farm touring schools. Each production is an imaginative retelling of the play or novel. It is short (the length of a lesson), fast-paced, and fun so that students understand the story, the characters and the themes in the play. Any of the plays can easily be set up in a school auditorium or hall.
The Shakeshorts brand has grown to include a repertoire of 6 productions. The shows have to date been enjoyed by thousands of students in person and online (during the pandemic).
Shakeshorts plays on offer to date are:
Merchant of Venice
A Midsummer Night's Dream
"Amazing! Well done for managing to include the children in the show and for entertaining adults and kids at the same time!" - Elena (Mother of child aged 7)
"My daughters loved it and so did I. Hilarious and a great way of presenting Shakespeare. We look forward to your next creation" - Jeanette (Mother of children aged 11 & 13)
"The Shakeshorts performance at our school was thoroughly enjoyed by the Senior 3s and 4s. The Macbeth adaptation was age-appropriate as it appealed very much to our younger audience. It served as a means by which students could wrap their heads around the plot of the play. It was also very entertaining as it was presented to them in a modern setting which they could easily relate to. They will surely enjoy another similar performance in the future."
"Heartfelt thanks for your highly entertaining and educational performance of Macbeth at our school today. Students and teachers alike loved it, and it has stimulated follow-up discussion in class. We look forward to having you at our school again next scholastic year should the production still be available."
"I think that the idea of Shakeshorts is brilliant as it gives an opportunity for all the students, the vast majority of whom have probably never read a play of Shakespeare, an idea of how great the works of Shakespeare are. The students are actively engaged and also involved in the performance. In the span of about the time of a normal lesson, they get the main gist of the plot of the play, are exposed to excerpts from the text itself, and can also reflect on some of the themes that Shakespeare focused on in his writings. The humorous parts and the direct involvement of the students themselves render the performance a highly enjoyable one too."