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Redlands Shakespeare Festival reports theft of swords

January 13, 2012 |  3:35 pm

  Shakespeare

What would the plays of Shakespeare be without sword fights? Duels are an integral part of "Romeo and Juliet" and "Hamlet" and it's hard to imagine "Henry V" and "Julius Caesar" without the clash of metal.

On Friday, the Redlands Shakespeare Festival sent out an email saying that thieves have made off with the festival's stock of medieval and Renaissance swords. The festival said that in all, more than 30 swords are missing along with an assortment of rapiers and other props.

The swords do not have sharp edges but they have sharp points and can be dangerous, according to the festival. Steven Sabel, the festival's founding artistic director, said in the email that swords "are an extremely valuable commodity to a Shakespearean company... we are scrambling to figure what we can do to make sure we have these essential props for our coming season."

He said the company's budget allows for the purchase of only a few swords each year. The festival estimates the loss to be around $3,000 and is asking people with information to contact the Redlands Police Department.

The company, located in San Bernardino County, presents free productions of Shakespeare's plays each May at the Redlands Bowl amphitheater. The 2012 season will feature stagings of "Richard III," "Much Ado About Nothing" and "The Two Gentleman of Verona."

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-- David Ng

Photo: A rendering of William Shakespeare. Credit: Stock Montage / Getty Images

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