mon 24/01/2022

Shakespeare

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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The Comedy of Errors, RSC, Barbican review - Shakespearean Christmas panto

“Am I myself?” At the tangled centre of Shakespeare’s comedy of two pairs of identical twins, servant Dromio asks the question on which everything else hangs. The delivery is exasperated, the context bantering, but the words are the flimsy door onto...

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A Merchant of Venice, Playground Theatre review - Shylock supreme in a pared-down production

What’s in an article? Director Bill Alexander has titled his new production A Merchant of Venice, leaving us to ponder the implications that arise from his avoidance of the standard “the”? Is it a hint towards generality, broadening the focus of...

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Macbeth, Royal Opera review - bloody, bold, and resolute

Phyllida Lloyd’s production of Macbeth has been in rep at the Royal Opera since 2002, and it is a solid performer. The setting is slick and vaguely period, with lots of iron weaponry, smart, pony-tailed warriors, but not a kilt in sight. The set (...

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Macbeth, Almeida Theatre review – vivid, but much too long

Remembering the months of lockdown, I can’t be the only person to thrill to this play’s opening lines, “When shall we three meet again?”, a phrase evocative enough to be borrowed as the first line of this year’s Wolf Alice album, Blue Weekend....

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Hamlet, Young Vic review - Cush Jumbo flares in a low-key production

It is a truism that every Hamlet is different, depending more than any other play on the casting of the lead. Each production moulds itself around the personality of the actor playing the prince. In Cush Jumbo, working here with Greg Hersov, who...

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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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Hamlet, Windsor Theatre Royal review - the age is out of joint

So it wasn’t Cinderella but Hamlet who was first out of the post-lockdown starting blocks – Andrew Lloyd Webber’s much trumpeted musical premiere being foiled by a ping at the weekend. Instead the historic first curtain-up was 20 miles up the River...

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King Lear, The Grange Festival review - friendship in adversity

Much has been made of the raison d’etre for this King Lear as the slowly gestated, Covid-delayed brainchild of the director Keith Warner, assembling a company of acting singers who have made their names on the opera stage. How this played out on the...

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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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A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare's Globe review - a blast of colour from our post-vaccine future

A little less than two years after Sean Holmes’s kick-ass Latin American carnival-style A Midsummer Night’s Dream erupted at the side of the Thames, it has returned to a very different world. It’s no longer a natural expression of the kind of...

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Romeo and Juliet, Creation Theatre online review - game version falls between stools

There is a promising production struggling to get out of this muddled concept. Creation Theatre (here partnered with Watford Palace) is well known for innovative, site-specific pieces, one of which –The Tempest – was adapted for the screen,...

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