ACTORS have spoken of their excitement at taking on one of Shakespeare's most famous plays, which opens tonight.

The Teesside-based Boss Theatre Company will stage Measure for Measure at the Arc, in Stockton.

Set in a modern but not time-specific era, the play is about moral corruption in a time of weak political leadership and is partly set in soulless offices and lap dancing clubs.

The plot turns on a decision by the Duke of Vienna to pretend to leave the city. Unknown to the other characters he remains in the city and sees for himself the hidden world of prostitution, moral decay, blackmail and fornication as his puritanical deputy takes control of the city.

Daniel Carver, who plays the Duke, said: "I don't think the character is corrupt or bad. He's an honest politician who just doesn't know what to do and there is no-one there to tell him."

Director David Edwards also takes on a major role in the play, the puritanical deputy. He said he chose the play because of its modern themes.

"It feels like the most timeless and modern of all the Shakespeare plays," he said.

As well as the play, schools and colleges are invited to take part in a workshop with the actors tomorrow.

The public are also invited to take part in actors' workshops and warm-up exercises before Friday night's performance.

The play runs from tonight until Saturday, starting at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £7 or £5 for concessions. Call the box office on (01642) 525199.

Published: 23/02/2005