October 27, 1997

British Actor Oliver Ford Davies Presents "Shakespeare's Kings: The Exercise of Power" at Middlebury College

British actor Oliver Ford Davies will give a recital entitled "Shakespeare's Kings: The Exercise of Power" in the concert hall at the Middlebury College Center for the Arts on Saturday, November 8, at 8 p.m. Earlier in the week, there will be an opportunity to chat informally with the actor on Thursday, November 6, from 4:30 to 5:30, at the Rehearsal's Cafe in the Center for the Arts, where refreshments will be on the house. Davies will also present a second recital, "Figures in Landscape," on Wednesday, November 12, at 4:30 p.m., in Dana Auditorium.

One of England's most intelligent actors, Davies offers the drama of great literature through an unusual combination of theatre and academia. "Shakespeare's Kings" is composed of speeches from many of Shakespeare's plays, and illustrates his developing vision of matters implicit in the exercise of power through the words of Henry V, Falstaff, Julius Caesar, MacBeth, Prospero and other of his kings and heroes.

"Figures in Landscape" will focus on Wordsworth's development as a poet, and examine his attempt to change the course of English poetry. Davies' will give a sympathetic and humorous interpretation of Wordsworth's originality, obsessions, and achievements.

Davies has played leads for years with both the Royal Shakespeare Company, where he has appeared in 25 productions and numerous recitals, and the Royal National Theatre, where he received the 1990 Olivier Best Actor Award for his performance in David Hare's "Racing Demon." Television audiences have seen him everywhere from "Inspector Morse" and "The Cloning of Joanna May" to "Anglo-Saxon Attitudes," and big screen audiences also know him for a variety of film performances from "Sense and Sensibility" and "Scandal" to "Defense of the Realm." He has just finished filming Virginia Woolf's "Mrs. Dalloway" with Vanessa Redgrave.

While in the area, Davies will participate in a two-part program at the Middlebury Union Middle School, consisting of an in-school assembly performance for the students, and a series of workshop

sessions. He will also teach a Masterclass at Mt. Abraham Union High School.

"Shakespeare's Kings" and "Figures in Landscape" are free and open to the public. There will be a pre-performance dinner held at 6:30 p.m. on November 8, just prior to "Shakespeare's Kings," in the Center for the Arts' Rehearsals Cafe. For more information regarding the performance, or for reservations for the pre-performance dinner, please call the Center for the Arts Box Office at 802-443-6433.

Both performances are co-sponsored by the Middlebury College Concert Series and the department of theatre, dance and film/video.