fri 07/05/2021

Shakespeare

The Winter's Tale, RSC, BBC Four review - post-war poise colours a solid production

It has been a hard coming for this RSC Winter’s Tale. Erica Whyman’s production was cancelled by the virus days before its premiere last spring, with plans to stage it in the autumn frustrated by the second lockdown. This broadcast version,...

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Romeo and Juliet, National Theatre online review - a triumphant hybrid

Shakespeare's enduring tale of star-crossed lovers is especially pertinent in a pandemic. The fatal plot twist depends on failed communication during an outbreak of pestilence, and one of the most famous lines is Mercutio's heartfelt, "A plague on...

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A Midsummer Night's Dream, SHAKE Festival livestream review - a star turn from Luisa Omielan makes this 'Bottom's Dream'

Just what the Zoom era has brought to theatre – to performers and audiences alike – is something we will no doubt be pondering for some while yet, certainly still in the much-anticipated eventual hereafter when stages in their “traditional”...

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Shakespeare Re-Shaped, Opera Up Close online review - Verdi on the sofa

The screen lights up, the Zoom link connects and there, blinking back at you (30% awkward, 70% enthusiastic) is a familiar face. Is it definitely working? Can you hear me? What do we say now? God, I'm getting old. Even after 12 months of...

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Romeo and Juliet, Palace Theatre, Manchester online review - futuristic and timely

The story of Romeo and Juliet is well known, worth revisiting endlessly and always relevant. But there is another story here: the making of the piece using innovative digital technology including CGI, to keep actors and creative team safe in a...

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Romances on British Poetry / The Poet's Echo, English Touring Opera online review - Britten and Shostakovich in a double mirror

A darkened stage; a pool of light; a solitary figure. And then, flooding the whole thing with meaning, music – even it’s just a soft chord on a piano. It’s no secret to any opera goer that even the barest outlines of a staging can magnify the...

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Upstart Crow: Lockdown Christmas 1603, BBC Two review – plaguey beaks and bubonidiots

If you’ve loved every episode of Ben Elton’s Shakespeare and Co comedy, you’ll know what to expect – but you’ll have to swallow bittersweet pills from only two of the excellent ensemble who’ve given us such comfort and joyous rapid-fire delivery of...

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The Warren Outdoor Season, Brighton review - creatives take to the beach

The Warren is normally to be found in Brighton city centre, where it stages shows during the Brighton Fringe. But there's nothing normal about 2020, so its organisers are now producing The Warren Outdoor Season at a pop-up space on Brighton beach,...

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Imagine... My Name is Kwame, BBC One review - interesting but incomplete

Filmed, as one would, well, imagine, prior to lockdown, Imagine .... My Name is Kwame hearkens to what now seems a bygone era of full and buzzy playhouses and adventurous theatre-making that was about the live experience and not some facsimile...

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The Merchant of Venice, BBC iPlayer review – a parable on the limits of tolerance

Ah, 2015. Those halcyon days of packed theatres. Thank God the RSC had the presence of mind to film Polly Findlay’s production of The Merchant of Venice, now streaming on BBC iPlayer. Condensed into just over two hours, it’s a thoughtful take on...

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Theatre Unlocked 2: A starry premiere and musical revival alongside Greek tragedy where it began

Theatres will begin gently unlocking their doors as we head into August. In the meantime, a beleaguered community continues to find fresh and startling ways to sustain interest and excitement, whether that be the premiere of a new play starring...

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Theatre Lockdown Special 11: Shakespeare-as-rave, a starlit Old Vic, and, yes, those singing nuns

Might we be nearing light at the end of the lockdown tunnel? It definitely seems that way, with the news in recent days that social life beyond the home may be resuming soon, at least after a fashion. All the while, theatrical offerings continue to...

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