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Edward Lewis , U.K. 2018



Edward Lewis holds degrees from The Open, Lancaster and Cambridge universities, and has undertaken Forum Theatre training with Augusto Boal. Inspired by the production of Nicholas Nickleby, about which he writes in The Greatest Shows on Earth edited by John Freeman and published by Libri, he has written and directed for the stage a number of adaptations including Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, Dickens’ Our Mutual Friend, Emile Zola’s Nana and The Blizzard, a short story by Alexander Pushkin. His most recent commissioned work is Iperformance. This immersive installation performed in Romanian and English, premiered at Sibfest 2017 under his direction. This project is a continuation of work which, for the last twenty years, has been created in contexts as varied as war zones, prisons, professional theatres and sites for political intervention. Dividing his time between Britain, Eire and continental Europe, Lewis combines university teaching and applied drama practice with theatre work as director, writer and actor. After establishing a new drama programme at Soran University in Kurdistan, Iraq, until the military situation in the region made it impossible for him to remain in the area, Lewis has most recently devised and delivered an intensive course covering both practical and theoretical aspects of theatrical performance to students from the College of Music at Huang Huai University, Zhumadian, China.

 ‘Metre and Meaning in Shakespeare’s Plays’
Speaking Shakespeare’s verse.

Although contemporary approaches to performing Shakespeare often give priority to a naturalistic delivery, the nature of Shakespeare’s heightened language requires an actor to understand the function of his verse as the foundation for performance. Using examples from a number of Shakespeare’s plays, this workshop will introduce methods of analysing and performing the written text and decoding the performance clues given by Shakespeare in the rhythmic structure of his verse. The significance of prose and blank-verse usage will also be addressed. Non-native English speakers will find the sessions useful not only as actors but also in adopting the natural rhythms of everyday spoken English.