Performance Performing Arts

Review: Shakespeare’s Women (KLPAC, 2016)

Prized moments and a delectable cast do best to give life to Shakespeare 400 showreel.

Directed by Joe Hasham | Music by U-En Ng
Starring Dawn Cheong, Shamaine Othman, Rosheen Mutalip, Christina Orow & Hana Nadira

As all five women appear on stage and explode into a scene from Macbeth with primal, feral energy, it seems like Shakespeare’s Women could be very, very relevant. The talents are undeniable, there are live strings serenading the stage, and there’s also the whole Shakespeare 400 tie-in. Promising to “control, seduce and cajole” audience members and prove the mettle of all five actors, Shakespeare’s Women tackles the brief with glory — magic emanates from a conversation between Juliet (Dawn Cheong) and her nurse (Christina Orow) from Romeo & Juliet, and from Paulina’s (Rosheen Mutalip) heartbreak in The Winter’s Tale. But by the time the sixth or seventh piece takes place, one is left wondering if the performance will amount to anything more than intermittent glimpses at the bard’s extensive catalogue. Furthermore, the musical accompaniment while impressive comes off like filler designed to maintain onstage activity in between scene changes. Ultimately, it’s the format that lacks; upon leaving the theatre, one cannot help but feel they’ve been subjected to a random collection of Shakespearean scenes featuring women. But at the very least, those 90 minutes in Pentas 2 gave audiences a chance to witness these actors in action. And trust us, that alone is worth the admission.


Shakespeare’s Women took place from 26 – 29 May 2016 at Pentas 2, KLPAC. Read more about the performance from our previous write-up or through Facebook!

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