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The production in question is Oscar Wilde’s 1891 classic piece Salome. Based on the biblical story it tells the story of the step daughter of Herod Antipas who in return for performing the dance of the seven veils demands as a reward, the head of John the Baptist.For a company that has a reputation for staging theatrical productions in unusual, site specific locations, Shetland Youth Theatre would at first sight appear to have embraced tradition by electing to perform its latest production at the Garrison Theatre next week.

The company has set the action in the theatrical setting of a jazz club at the time of prohibition where Herod becomes the head of a mafia family. Hence the choice of venue. However the company is keen to stress that the production will lose none of the sense of theatrical innovation that has seen Shetland Youth Theatre establish a national reputation for presenting dynamic, boundary stretching theatre experiences.

Since it first appeared, Salome has been a work that has enthralled artists from all genres. The artwork by Aubrey Beardsley is extremely well known and popular and there are notorious film versions ranging from a 1920’s silent movie to a typically decadent interpretation by Ken Russell. Live productions by the Lindsay Kemp Company and by Steven Berkoff are regarded as modern theatrical masterpieces.

For this production the usual creative team at SYT has been joined by acclaimed choreographer Andy Howitt, director of ‘City Moves’ in Aberdeen who has created the dance of the seven veils with performer Harry Whitham who plays Salome.

The production features twenty young actors who have spent the past month working intensively on the production, exploring a simplicity of theatre form to complement the intense themes and luxurious language that inhabit the text.

Salome will be performed on Thursday, Friday and Saturday next week (25th – 27th August). The show runs for about 90 minutes and tickets priced £8 / £6 (concessions) are available from Shetland Box Office (01595 745555). Shetland Arts advise that the production is not suitable for primary aged schoolchildren.

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