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. Open rehearsals in store take place 18 July to 22 August 2016, followed by the show’s run from 23 August to 24 September 2016, with a press night on 26 August.
On the occasion of Shakespeare400, Selfridges are opening a fully-fledged theatre complete with workshops, rare access to rehearsals and a new production of Much Ado About Nothing. As the revolutionary store famed for introducing retail theatre to Europe, this is the next logical step for Selfridges – another world first.
To create 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 contemporary Shakespeare productions and innovative collaborations, The Faction are the perfect partner for this unique venture.
Continuing Selfridges ethos of ‘all are welcome’, The Faction will offer audiences the chance to peer into rehearsals. Like the famous Selfridges window displays give a theatrical glimpse of what lays in store, this window onto the rehearsal process will present audiences with a daily insight into the development of a play from rehearsals to performance as well as offering opportunities to interact with the cast and creatives. Partner 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 Claudio 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 fashion, 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 actors will perform in this exciting and ambitious production plus five ‘digital cameos’ will be pre-recorded and appear in projected CCTV footage 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. While Shakespeare remains the backbone of their work, they also work interpreting other classical texts with a contemporary aesthetic toengage and excite local, national and international audiences. Building a diverse ensemblewith a rolling repertoire, The Faction is a sustainable arts organisation for the 21stcentury.
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 training – 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 landmark 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 entertainment have been part of Selfridges’ DNA ever since.