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Venus and Adonis at The Cube Warwick

Venus and Adonis. Photo courtesy of Lucy Barriball.


Venus & Adonis in THE CUBE at The Dream Factory, Warwick.  20 – 21 April 2024

 A fusion of cabaret and catwalk inspire a new take on Shakespeare’s popular poem.


Playbox Theatre’s renowned Shakespeare Young Company was created in 2006, to enable young people to gain confidence and performance opportunity in Shakespeare and his contemporaries. From the beginning, inspired by Jan Kott’s seminal book, Shakespeare Our Contemporary, the company has presented work across a wide variety of spaces, from outdoor gardens to the depths of a medieval crypt.


Back at the company’s base, The Dream Factory in Warwick, SYC will now stage a fusion project, inspired by the popular poem, Venus & Adonis, for presentation in a new space, constructed in the theatre’s expansive front of house area. The Cube is an in-the-round structure, reflecting the ambience of fashion show catwalk, alongside a cabaret setting.

Shakespeare Young Company perform their interpretation of The Bard's poem. Photo by Lucy Barriball.


Venus & Adonis was written by Shakespeare during the theatre closures in 1590s. Unable to play on the open arenas of London, the playwright created an original work taking the story of love-obsessed Venus, with reluctant Adonis from Ovid’s Metamorphosis. This has become the source of much drama, poetry and art in the Renaissance. Dedicated to his patron, Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton, the poem, with its erotic content, became a huge cult read and sold many copies.


The great Renaissance painters, Titian and Botticelli, amongst others, were drawn to the stories of Ovid and developed their own interpretations.


This April, the special event created by Shakespeare Young Company will take Venus & Adonis as a starting point for a collage of text, poetry, music, song and dance…as well as a little table magic, original themed mocktails and pizza for the audience!

Venus & Adonis at The Cube in Warwick. Photo by Lucy Barriball.


The event is a light-hearted spring evening semi-cabaret, where audiences will surround The Cube as the company explore areas of Shakespeare and the source material.


SYC member, Meera Palta, has designed the costumes for the event, and these are inspired by Botticelli and his contemporaries, drawing upon the fashion and prints of the time.


VENUS & ADONIS opens Saturday 20 April at 7pm and Sunday 21 April at 6pm




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