tue 18/09/2018

RSC

Sir Peter Hall: a day of thanksgiving and celebration for a colossus of culture

Sir Peter Hall had no ordinary life, as might be expected from the director who more than any other defined the British theatre of the last half of the 20th century. The same can be said of the unforgettable two-part send-off he received exactly a...

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Imperium, Gielgud Theatre review - eventful, very eventful, Roman epic

History repeats itself. This much we know. In the 1980s, under a Tory government obsessed with cuts, the big new thing was “event theatre”, huge shows that amazed audiences because of their epic qualities and marathon slog. A good example is David...

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Hamlet, RSC, Hackney Empire review - Paapa Essiedu's winning Dane

Shakespeare's death-laden play is alive and well and breathing with renewed force in Hackney, the last British stop for an RSC touring Hamlet that moves on from London to the Kennedy Centre in Washington DC in May. Let's hope the American capital...

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Titus Andronicus, RSC, Barbican review - blood will out

Live theatre, eh? It had to happen. On press night a sound of what seemed to be snoring (the production’s really not dull) revealed, in the Barbican stalls, a collapse. About an hour in, a huge amount of blood is smeared over Titus Andronicus’s...

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Julius Caesar, RSC, Barbican review - Roman bromance plays straight

Even more than some of Shakespeare’s other histories, Julius Caesar inevitably offers itself to “topical interpretation”, a Rorschach test of a play which directors short of an original idea can extrapolate to project their own political aperçus...

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Antony and Cleopatra, RSC, Barbican review - rising grandeur

Is there a key to “infinite variety”? The challenge of Cleopatra is to convey the sheer fullness of the role, the sense that it defines, and is defined by only itself: there’s no saying that the glorious tragedy of the closing plays itself out, of...

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David Edgar: 'Ebenezer Scrooge is alive and well'

Since mid-August, I’ve been doing something I swore I’d never do again. I’ve been rehearsing a new adaptation of a novel by Charles Dickens. Sometime in the autumn of 1979, I received a phone call from Trevor Nunn, artistic director of the Royal...

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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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