wed 19/12/2018

Shakespeare

The Merry Wives of Windsor, RSC, Barbican review - panto Shakespeare

For those of us who have never thought much before about links between pantomime and Shakespeare, Fiona Laird’s new Merry Wives offers a chance to see how the combination works. Making short shrift of tradition, her version of the Falstaff comedy...

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Macbeth, Shakespeare's Globe review - sexually-charged production draws power from the shadows

Macbeth has rarely seemed quite as metrosexual as in this gorgeous shadow-painted production that marks Globe artistic director Michelle Terry’s first production in the Sam Wanamaker theatre. Even in a play that walks the tightrope between its...

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Robert Hastie: 'a seam of love runs through the play' - interview

Robert Hastie is a little late for our meeting. Directing Shakespeare's darkest tragedy in London while also running Sheffield Theatres must sometimes cause a logjam of simultaneous demands, but whatever the morning's problem in the north of England...

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Romeo and Juliet, Barbican review - plenty of action but not enough words

It’s clear from the start – from a Prologue that quickly dissolves familiar rhythms and words into a Babel of clamour and sound. This RSC Romeo and Juliet, newly transferred to the Barbican, isn’t much interested in what is said. Actions not words...

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Macbeth, RSC, Barbican review - Shakespeare's blood-boltered tragedy, tense but flawed

It has been said before: Macbeth's reputation for bad luck has more to do with the difficulty of bringing off a successful production than the supernatural elements in the play. Even those of us who have seen dozens of interpretations can count the...

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Measure for Measure, Donmar Warehouse review - Shakespeare twice-over packs a partial sting

Shakespeare exists to be refracted and filtered through the age in which he is presented. So there's every good reason for the Donmar's artistic director Josie Rourke to approach the eternally problematic Measure for Measure as a twice-told tale...

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Twelfth Night, Young Vic review - Kwame Kwei-Armah makes a big-hearted return home

What better way to celebrate a homecoming than with a party? That is the capacious-hearted thinking behind this new musical version of Twelfth Night, which additionally marks Kwame Kwei-Armah's debut production at the helm of that undeniable dynamo...

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Antony and Cleopatra, National Theatre review - Ralph Fiennes in marvellous throttle

You always wonder about those final scenes of Shakespeare’s tragedies. Are they really needed dramatically; do they work? We understand, of course, that a closing exhalation may add impact to high passions just witnessed. But is it just a romantic...

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Twelfth Night, Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh - a touch too sweet

“Well, that was really sweet,” one young audience member in front of me remarked on his way out of Edinburgh’s Lyceum Theatre. And yes, there’s no denying that director Wils Wilson’s colourful, psychedelic, summer-of-love-set Twelfth Night, the...

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Henry V, Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol review - the pity of war

Henry V is a play shot through with martial energy and the terrible chaos of war. The almost overpowering violence and energy that characterise the story give the unfolding of the drama a permanently disrupted form, as if the unpredictability of...

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Love's Labour's Lost, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse review - in praise of a fantastical Spaniard

If ever there was a play of “well bandied” words, it’s surely Love’s Labour’s Lost. The early Shakespearean comedy may once have hit a highpoint for verbal wit, but much of that context – the word play, the allusions, the sheer stylistic preening...

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Pericles, National Theatre review - a fizzingly energetic production

A break-dancing mini Michael Jackson, a transvestite Neptune, and a hero who wears his hubris as proudly as his gold-tipped trainers, are unconventional even by Shakespeare’s standards, but they all play a key part in this joyful act of subversion....

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