Bard's tales with new slant

IT IS fast becoming one of Sydney's top theatre companies but Sport For Jove will return to the west where it all began to celebrate Shakespeare's 450th birthday.

The company, founded in The Hills five years ago, will perform a repertory season of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, or What You Will and All's Well That Ends Well at Parramatta's Riverside Theatres in March.

Artistic director Damien Ryan, who grew up in western Sydney and went to Pendle Hill High School, said audiences could expect the unexpected, particularly in All's Well That Ends Well — a play he said hasn't been performed in Sydney for decades.

"It's an opportunity to present a Shakespeare play where people don't know what happens next," Ryan said.

"Unless they take the time to read it, they will show up and wonder where the play is going to take them and they won't have any preconceived ideas.

"We also want it to feel like a new play, so we are giving it a contemporary and modern setting."

Ryan said he was not only looking forward to a celebration of Shakespeare, but also doing it in his home town.

"Riverside Theatre was the first theatre I ever went to see a play when I was young," he said.

"It was also where I got my first serious job, so it's a place very close to my heart."

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