Mutag brings ‘As You Like It’


Mzuzu University Theatre Arts Group (Mutag) will on Sunday premiere a William Shakespeare play titled As You Like It.
The play, directed by Misheck Mzumara, who is also a drama lecturer, will be staged tomorrow night at Mzuzu University.
Mzumara, who has starred in several productions, said yesterday that they decided to adapt Shakespeare’s play because it was done a long time ago.
“It’s a good comedy which has not been much explored in the country. Students study it and they got interested in having it staged. So, we are coming in to direct it properly and we have changed it into modern English,” Mzumara said.
He said that the play was supposed to be premiered tomorrow but, due to student elections on campus, they shifted it to Sunday.
This is a pastoral comedy by Shakespeare believed to have been written in 1599, but it was first published in the First Folio in 1623.
According to available information, the play’s first performance is uncertain, though a performance at Wilton House in 1603 has been suggested as a possibility.
The play follows its heroine, Rosalind, as she flees persecution in her uncle’s court. Accompanied by her cousin, Celia, they embark on a journey to find safety and, eventually, love, in the Forest of Arden.
In the forest, they encounter a variety of memorable characters, notably the melancholy traveller Jaques, who speaks many of Shakespeare’s most famous speeches.
Historically, critical response has varied, with some critics finding the play a work of great merit and others finding it to be of lesser quality than other Shakespearean works.
However, the play remains a favourite among audiences and has been adapted for radio, film, and musical theatre.
Recently, Bilimankhwe Arts also adapted Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, which toured United Kingdom. It features our Malawian actors.

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