thu 23/11/2017

World Shakespeare Festival

Much Ado About Nothing, Noël Coward Theatre

Never quite at the top of the Shakespearean canon, Much Ado About Nothing now seems more vital and adaptable than ever – and vastly darker than, say, Kenneth Branagh’s sun-kissed screen romp acknowledged back in 1993. The cult director Joss Whedon...

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The Hollow Crown: Henry V, BBC Two

Forget the ages-old talk of London buses arranging their schedules so that they all arrive at once. The capital's patterns of public transport have nothing on the rapidity with which Henry V has hoved into view of late, whether at Shakespeare's...

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Shakespeare: Staging the World, British Museum

Where on earth do you begin if all the world’s a stage? When not sifting through the entrails of dynastic English history or sunning themselves in Italy, the plays of Shakespeare really do put a girdle round the known globe. They send postcards from...

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Timon of Athens, National Theatre

As the much-loved Arthur Marshall so profoundly noted, Ibsen is “not a fun one”. One could, with as much truth, say the same about Shakespeare’s rarely staged Timon of Athens: its misanthropy, missing motivations and mercurial shifts in temper do...

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The Hollow Crown: Henry IV Part 2, BBC Two

One intends no discredit to the keenly judged monarch-to-be that is Tom Hiddleston's Prince Hal, who will reappear on the small screen next weekend carrying the story forward in Henry V, to point out that Richard Eyre's terrific BBC adaptation...

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Otello, Royal Opera House

Pardon the anomaly of a lightly browned-up Latvian Moor married to a German-Greek beauty. This, after all, is not Shakespeare’s play but Verdi’s opera, for which all too few are born to sing heroic tenor Otello and lyric-dramatic soprano Desdemona....

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The Hollow Crown: Henry IV Part 1, BBC Two

Now we're talking! Following on from a small-screen Richard II of greater aural than visual interest, along comes Richard Eyre's TV adaptation of both Henry IV plays, and the first thing that seems evident about Part One is how well it would...

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Julius Caesar, BBC Four/Match of the Day Live, BBC One

“Let slip the dogs of war.” Somewhere in the bowels of Kiev’s Olympic Stadium, a football coach will have said something along these lines around the half seven mark. Meanwhile, over on the clever-clever channel, an alternative meeting between...

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Globe to Globe: Henry V, Shakespeare's Globe

Henry V is a play with so many layers, and such ambivalence, that it can suit a multitude of purposes. When Laurence Olivier made his film version in 1944, it was as a propagandist rallying cry, a reminder of what was at stake in a war that was far...

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I, Cinna: The Streaming of Shakespeare's Bard

It has been nearly 10 years since I started writing for theatre. The second thing I wrote was a commission for the Brighton Festival who offered me the opportunity to make and perform a piece for young audiences inspired by a Shakespeare play. That...

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How Globe to Globe Staged the World

Over the past six weeks, we at the Globe have put on a festival called Globe to Globe. The concept (an idea of Dominic Dromgoole’s) was always very simple to explain: all of Shakespeare’s plays, each in a different language. But the reality of that...

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Globe to Globe: Hamlet, Shakespeare's Globe

We’re fresh out of superlatives. The Globe to Globe season has put a girdle around the earth in 37 languages, and the visiting companies have now left the building. You have to high-five the Globe’s chutzpah for mounting this wondrous contribution...

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