mon 20/11/2017

RSC

Coriolanus, Barbican review - great, late Shakespeare compels but doesn't stun

Coriolanus is post-tragic. It never horrifies like Macbeth or appals like King Lear, though its self-damaging protagonist is disconcerting enough. Shakespeare had written the signature dark dramas by 1606, including the most magnificent of the four...

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Peter Hall: A Reminiscence

Theatre artist, political agitator, cultural advocate: Sir Peter Hall was all these and more in a career that defies easy encapsulation beyond stating the obvious: we won’t see his like again any time soon. He helped shape my experience and...

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Extract: Peter Brook - Tip of the Tongue: Reflections on Language and Meaning

A long time ago when I was very young, a voice hidden deep within me whispered, "Don’t take anything for granted. Go and see for yourself." This little nagging murmur has led me to so many journeys, so many explorations, trying to live together...

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Love's Labour's Lost/Much Ado About Nothing, RSC, Theatre Royal Haymarket

“The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs of Apollo.” A sudden cold breeze blows through the endless summer afternoon of Love’s Labour's Lost in the play’s final moments. Death enters Shakespeare’s Edenic garden and innocence is lost. But what...

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10 Questions for Director Christopher Luscombe

 When Shakespeare visits the bearpit of the West End, it is usually in the company of a big name: Judi Dench, Sheridan Smith, Martin Freeman. This Christmas the bard enters the Theatre Royal, Haymarket without any such support. And there is a...

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King Lear, RSC, Barbican

At the conclusion of a year in which Britishness has come so resoundingly to the fore of the national debate – and with a play that at the time of its writing, 1605-6, was engaging with that concept no less urgently – the first impression made by...

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10 Questions for Actor David Troughton

David Troughton (b.1950), a familiar face on television and a Royal Shakespeare Company veteran, is a versatile actor. His most recent RSC appearance before Gloucester displayed his talent for comedy: he was a funny and energetic Simon Eyre in...

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Cymbeline, RSC, Barbican

“Britain is a world by itself.” It could be the slogan of the year – and rather longer, probably – but the phrase comes from Shakespeare’s late romance Cymbeline. Its Act III scene, in which Britain announces that it is breaking its...

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The Alchemist, RSC, Barbican

The confidence trick to end all tricks, Ben Jonson’s The Alchemist is so utterly recognisable, so clearly contemporary, that to update the setting feels a bit like underlining the point in red pen. In this transfer from Stratford's Swan Theatre...

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Doctor Faustus, RSC, Barbican Theatre

What price a human soul? That’s the question Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus asks – a question whose answers are rooted in faith and theology. But in a society with little use for faith and still less for theology, how do you reframe the question? Director...

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Henry V, RSC, Barbican Theatre

Pro patria mori. Now there’s the test for Henry V - perform it on Remembrance Day. The “band of brothers” shtick relies on an idea of patriotism from an age when there was no need to define something so heartfelt, and an idea that kings and...

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10 Questions for Actress Jane Lapotaire

Jane Lapotaire's distinguished career on stage and screen was cut short in 2000 when she collapsed in Paris with a massive brain haemorrhage. She was giving a Shakespeare masterclass at the time and now, 15 years later, at the age of 70, she is once...

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