Shakespeare in the Park is back. This time it is Measure for Measure at Lion’s Park at 7 p.m. on July 20. Admission is free. The Knowlton Literary Festival, in conjunction with the Town of Brome Lake, will present Repercussion Theatre’s production of Shakespeare’s play, Measure for Measure. The Harmony Band will play and the Star Café food truck will offer food and snacks.
What is the play about? Measure for Measure is about how men can use their power to influence women to submit to their will by threatening people that they love; and also how those in senior positions can make situations worse by abdicating their responsibility. The plot for the play was based on a historical story in the sense that something like it happened in the 1540s. The wife of a man accused of murder did face a judge who said he’d pardon the man if the wife slept with him. She did, and then the judge ordered the man executed anyway, largely out of fear that, if he didn’t, the reprieved husband would find out what had been done to his wife and “come for revenge”. At the time, it was bang up to-date and topical, a coded piece about the way England was beginning to be torn apart culturally by arguments about religion and the way personal morality actually functioned in real life.
We are sure that Repercussion Theatre will present Measure for Measure in such a way as to remind us today that these issues of power and ideology are still with us.