fri 07/10/2022

Globe

I, Joan, Shakespeare's Globe review - a non-binary retelling that's as ebullient as it's irreverent

This raw, joyous, irreverent take on Joan of Arc made headlines before opening night for its depiction of the fifteenth-century warrior saint as non-binary. Yet what shines out in Charlie Josephine’s fresh, deliberately pared-down script is that all...

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The Tempest, Shakespeare's Globe review - occasional gales of laughter drown out subtlety

Alexei Sayle, in his angry young man phase, once said that you can always tell when you’re watching a Shakespeare comedy, because NOBODY'S LAUGHING. That’s not entirely true, of course, but sometimes a director has to go looking for the LOLs and...

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King Lear, Shakespeare's Globe review - eviscerates emotionally while illuminating a society rotten with lies

Kathryn Hunter’s performance as Lear forges its heat from contradictions. She is as frail as she is strong, as detestable as she is loveable, as powerfully charismatic as she is physically diminutive. That she is a woman playing a man is the least...

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Henry VIII, Shakespeare's Globe review - unashamedly vulgar take on our last split with Europe

Boris Johnson was of course not the first British leader to engineer a split with Europe for personal gain. This strikes you with full force halfway through this production. While there are no photos of Johnson rushing around at a Downing Street...

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Julius Caesar, Shakespeare's Globe review - the Bard buried in bad choices

With tyrants licking their lips around the world and the question of how to respond to their threat growing ever more immediate, Julius Caesar director Diane Page eyes an open goal – and misses. A statue stands alone on the stage (this touring...

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Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare's Globe review – a perfect piece of escapism for our uncertain summer

Lucy Bailey’s joyous, visually ravishing Much Ado About Nothing opens on a sombre note. On stage there is laughter and merriment as people prepare for a party in the sprawling grounds of an Italian estate, but then a lone soldier enters the...

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The Merchant of Venice, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse review - enormous empathy

The Merchant of Venice is a comedy, you say? Shakespeare, as ever, refuses to be confined to convenient boxes, his best plays’ extraordinary pliability and longevity a testament to the piercing eye he cast towards the slings and arrows that assail...

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Hamlet, Shakespeare's Globe review - melancholy mash-up lacks chemistry

Hamlet isn’t often played for laughs. When David Tennant took the comedic approach in the RSC’s 2008 production, it was testament to his mercurial genius that his performance brilliantly conveyed the manic grief of a young man whose world was...

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Measure for Measure, Sam Wanamaker Theatre review - this problem play is a delight

Measure for Measure may be the quintessential Shakespeare “problem” play, but just what has earned it that epithet remains a puzzle. Each generation approaches the matter from its own perspective. The developments of recent years, #MeToo most of all...

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Metamorphoses, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse review - punchy, cleverly reworked classic

Ovid was exiled – or to put it in twenty-first century terms, "no-platformed" – by an indignant Emperor Augustus for the scandal caused by his three-book elegy on love, Ars Amatoria. Most scholars believe the intrigue behind his banishment to be...

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Twelfth Night, Shakespeare's Globe review - foot-stompingly good fun

The best version of Twelfth Night I’ve seen is not called Twelfth Night. For sheer knockabout entertainment, nothing beats the 2006 film She’s the Man. But Sean Holmes’ production for the Globe’s summer season, brimming with song and physical comedy...

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Romeo & Juliet, Shakespeare's Globe review - unsatisfactory mix of clumsy and edgy

"It is dangerous for women to go outside alone," blares the electronic sign above the stage of the new Romeo and Juliet at Shakespeare's Globe. This disquieting sentiment obviously takes some of its resonance from the Sarah Everard case, yet it also...

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