Published: September 6, 2015 Bard to the bone: Englishman brings Shakespeare to Oklahoma with reborn acting career After growing up 20 miles from Stratford-upon-Avon, David Fletcher-Hall now is bringing Shakespeare to stages half a world away from The Bard’s ancestral home, and his own. “I think it’s the accent. I’m still waiting for Oklahoma City to recognize the natural talent behind this voice,” he joked with a laugh. “Just maintaining this wonderful sense of historic literature that’s … in its fifth century, that is something that I feel very strongly that has to be maintained otherwise it’s going to get forgotten and just slip under the carpet.” In just 3 ½ years, the transplanted Brit has become a familiar face on the Oklahoma City theater scene, especially if you need a supporting player to help bring one of The Bard’s stories off the page and onto the stage. For Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park alone, the prolific character actor has co-starred in “Two Gentlemen of Verona,” “Othello,” “Measure for Measure,” “King Lear,” “King John” and “A Winter’s Tale,” plus he is playing the title role in the company’s season-closing production of “Julius Caesar.” “The nice thing specifically about Julius Caesar is that he’s a title role, but he gets assassinated just before intermission. So, I get to rest a lot in the second half of the play. I appear briefly as a ghost just to scare people in the second half, just to remind Brutus of what he did,” he said wryly. “It’s great to be able to sink your teeth into a role and really get to the deep character traits of a particular person. Caesar, I think in my interpretation from the play, there’s definitely two sides to him: There’s a public side that’s very grand and formal and official, and then there’s the private side where you see him interact with his wife, Calpurnia, and his private domestic troubles. Historians have said may be he was suffering from falling sickness or epilepsy and all these other maladies that caused him to interact and behave the way he did. So to have this great dichotomy of playing two completely opposite spectrums of this private, insecure, maybe mentally ill individual and then this public side of this big, grand formal leader is both stretching and pleasing.” Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park will stage “Julius Caesar” Thursday through Sept. 26 at the Myriad Gardens’ Water Stage, along with two student matinees Sept. 29-30 at Oklahoma City Community College. Rather than togas, longtime costume designer Robert Pittenridge has devised garb with a sort of dystopian look that will help create a world out of time, said managing director Michael Gibbons.
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