SHORT TAKES : Taper to Present Shakespeare

From Times Staff and wire service reports

Shakespeare's "King Lear" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream," will be presented in repertory by London's Renaissance Theatre Company at the Mark Taper Forum in the Music Center Jan. 21 through March 4.

The announcement was made today by Taper artistic director Gordon Davidson and British actor/director Kenneth Branagh, 28, who heads the Renaissance and will stage both plays.

Davidson and Branagh suggested that the two productions could lead to a longer association between their theaters that might include a mixed company of British and American actors in the future.

Since its creation in 1987, the Renaissance has made a name for itself with a series of successful new and classical productions. It has attracted the patronage of Prince Charles and has such actors in its ranks as Derek Jacobi, Judi Dench, Geraldine McEwan and Richard Briers, who will play the title role in "Lear" and Bottom in "Midsummer."

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