Sun 26 Nov 2023, 16:00 – Shakespeare’s sister, theaterplay directed by Carmen Toledo


26 November 2023
Starts: 16:00
Deur Open: 15:30
Genre: Theatre performance
Language: English
Actresses: Shirley Blake – Delphine Ural
Writer & Director: Carmen Toledo
Suitable for: People over 15 years old
Duration: Around 60 minutes

IMPORTANT: The use of mobile phones and/or another electronic devices to take photos or videos is NOT allowed during the performance.

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Could Shakespeare have had a sister who wrote as well as he did?

SHAKESPEARE’S SISTER is a play that interweaves Shakespeare’s female characters with the stories of the first actresses who debuted them, and the possible life of a female writer imagined by Virginia Wolff in one of her plays.
It’s a testimony to the conditions in which these women wrote in silence, or had to wait to perform on stage, in the mid-17th century.

It’s a story of solidarity, of the fight against sexism and discrimination in art and literature.

It’s a play about duality, about transvestism on stage, about “to be or not to be”.

A story of women coming out of the darkness.

SHAKESPEARE’S SISTER is the third play written and directed by Carmen Toledo in Amsterdam, by THEREDBOX Projects, after the premiere of THE RED BOX in the 2020-2021 season and MATA HARI, don’t blindfold my eyes, in 2022.
The play is performed in English and starring the actresses: Shirley Blake and Delphine Ural.

Shirley Blake
Born and raised in Malta, Shirley discovered a strong passion for acting in her early teens and had the good fortune to receive professional theatre training and work alongside some very inspirational theatre practitioners.
Her theatre journey started in Malta with Politeatru, followed by an intensive 3-year drama course at MTADA (Manoel Theatre Accademy for Dramatic Art) and later on obtained an acting diploma from LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art), at the United Kingdom.
She was consistently active in the Maltese theatre scene for many years and has played various roles ranging from classic to contemporary such as:
– Twelfth Night – William Shakespeare
– King Lear – William Shakespeare
– Macbeth – – William Shakespeare
– Merchant of Venice – William Shakespeare
– Two gentlemen of Verona – William Shakespeare
– The Enemy of the People – Henrik Ibsen
– The lady of the sea – Henrik Ibsen
– Hecuba, Euripides
– The Idiot King – Saviour Pirotta
– God of Carnage – Yasmina Reza
– Tartuffe – Molière
– A touch of Spring – Samuel Taylor
– Over the wall – James Saunders, and many more.

A few productions even made it to international stages and she had the opportunity to perform in UK, Russia, Germany, Belgium, France and Italy. She has also played in various local television series and sitcoms.
Shirley was a founding member of Faces theatre group and later of Troupe 18:45 with whom she coproduced and acted in various plays such as:
No more pickled onions (Anthony Portelli), Best before end (Anthony Portelli), Up Helly-Aa (Anthony Portelli), No Exit (Jean Paul Sartre), 9 Parts of Desire (Heather Raffo).

In 2013 she moved to The Netherlands and got involved with the Amsterdam’s English theatre community with whom she played roles in:
– Mother Courage and her children – Berthold Brecht
– Love in a rainbarrel – Diane Dale Remlee
– Creativity in the time of Dictatorship – Giorgi Rossi
– Straight and narrow – Jimmie Chin
– That’s not what happened – Tamara Richards
– Calamus – Ralph Remers
SHAKESPEARE’S SISTER will be Shirley’s first experience working with THEREDBOX Projects.

Delphine Ural
Originally from Metz, France, and after living in other countries, she moved to Amsterdam in January 2017.

She graduated as a Veterinary surgeon from the University of Liège in 2000 and has since worked as a Veterinary surgeon in various veterinary clinics in England, France, Malta and Amsterdam, where she started her own mobile veterinary service, Homevet.
Music and the performing arts have always been her passion, and during her university studies she was part of the theatre group and took part in several university productions, including “The three cents opera” at the National Theatre of the French Youth.
In 2013, after many years of Veterinary practice, family and extensive travelling, Delphine returned to her passion for acting. She has been involved in all the major drama schools in Malta – Stagecoach, Masquerade Physical Theatre Troupe and Studio 18, and has been involved in the creation, production and performance of original works such as “Limbo” and “Coraline”.
Upon arriving in Amsterdam, she became involved with the InPlayers community, with whom she has worked on productions:
Nymph errant
Buried child (as an assistant director and stage manager)
The Elephant Man (as stage manager)
Under Milk Wood – by Dylan Thomas
At the same time, she joined other theatre groups and played leading roles in:
La Maison de Bernarda Alba, by Federico García Lorca (in French)
The International Pastime
Miss Julie by August Strindberg
Terminal C
Dead nice
Les Trois Soeurs by Anton Chekhov (in French)
Angels watch – by Jim MacNerland
She also began to act in front of the camera, taking part in feature films such as:
Salinger’s Two Dark Muses, Spectrum, and Angels of dust, directed by Michael Lasoff.
Deja Vu, directed by Anna Morawska.

In 2020, she was part of the cast of THE RED BOX, directed by Carmen Toledo, with a total of 16 performances between 2020 and 2021, at Juan C. Tajes Microteatro and Badhuistheater, Amsterdam.
She participates for the second time as an actress with THEREDBOX Projects as part of the cast of SHAKESPEARE’S SISTER.

Author & Director:

Carmen Toledo
A Spanish national, she was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, where she studied theatre and did the first professional works of her artistic career.
She graduated in Theatre Techniques and Theatre Direction at the Multidisciplinary School of Dramatic Art (EMAD), in Montevideo, and began her professional career as an assistant director to most of the theatre directors of the time in Uruguay and in many theatrical spaces.
She then moved on to other roles: lighting designer, drama teacher and instructor, mask and prop maker, set designer and technical assistant, costume assistant, sound engineer, executive producer and production assistant, stage assistant, prompter, television assistant, among others.
She later trained in cultural marketing and services, event organisation and intellectual property. She was a member of the Uruguayan National Comedy Team for five years, working as a stage assistant and assistant director in various productions and participating in international theatre festivals with
this cast.
After directing her first plays, she took on the responsibility of Cultural Manager in a cultural complex of a theatre and a museum of the Writers’ Association of Uruguay, for which she interrupted her career as a theatre director, an absence that continued after the 15 years that she later lived in Madrid
(Spain), where she worked in another non-artistic field, although she ran theatre workshops in neighbouring communities, promoting the social integration of adults and children.

Carmen has been living in Amsterdam since 2018. In 2020, she resumed her vocation as writer and director of THE RED BOX, her first monologue written in English, a text that would later become part of a work composed of 4 characters, which she premiered in December 2020 with a team of four talented actresses, originally from different countries, living in the Netherlands, and performed a season of 16 performances during 2020-2021, despite the delay and temporary closure of theatres due to the corona pandemic.

Her second production in the 2022 season was ‘MATA HARI, don’t blindfold my eyes’, a monologue about the life of the famous Dutch exotic dancer and (perhaps) spy Mata Hari. SHAKESPEARE’S SISTER is the third play that Carmen has written and directed in Amsterdam.

  • THE RED BOX – ran for 15 performances at Juan C. Tajes Microteatro, between December 2020 and October 2021, and performed at The Badhuistheater in November 2021.

    • MATA HARI, don’t blindfold my eyes – ran for 10 performances at Juan C. Tajes Microteatro, between September and October 2022, and performed at the Munganga Theatre in December 2022.