thu 30/05/2024

Shakespeare

Macbeth, Shakespeare's Globe review - uneven production of intermittent power

That Shakespeare speaks to his audiences anew with every production is a cliché, but, like so many such, the glib blandness of the assertion conceals an insistent truth. The Thane of Glamis has had some success in life, gains preferment from those...

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Romeo and Juliet, Almeida Theatre review - muscular action interspersed with moments of telling stillness

Rebecca Frecknall’s Romeo and Juliet burns like ice, paring back and tightening the script so that love and death are constant bedfellows. She underscores her vision with a thrilling, furious physicality, interspersing explosive fight scenes with...

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A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare's Globe review - busy production overflowing with new ideas

Two years on from Sean Holmes’ production and seven on from Emma Rice’s (both of which featured diverse casts), Elle While takes a turn with the old warhorse’s lovers and fairies, its sparring couples and its Morecambe and Wise-like shambles of a...

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The Comedy of Errors, Shakespeare's Globe review - comedy and confusion

Shakespeare drew on Plautus’s Menaechmi for this early short comedy. Was it his competitive streak that made him up the ante with not one set of identical twins but two?Imagine that you have newly arrived in a place that you have never visited...

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The Motive and the Cue, National Theatre review - theatrical titans face off

Plays about the theatre are many and varied, from Gypsy and Noises Off to the numerous Shakespeare works that absorb theatrical performance into their very fabric.Jack Thorne's The Motive the Cue immediately takes pole position amongst recent...

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Hamlet, Bristol Old Vic On Screen review - faithful capture of a stage performance

This is a Hamlet for fans of speed-dating. It comes in at just over the two-hour mark, which is standard for a feature film. But considering the uncut text runs to four hours, as it did in the 1996 Kenneth Branagh film (and his earlier stage...

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The Winter's Tale, Shakespeare's Globe review - clever concept never quite catches fire

As course after course of Noma-style creations are served up to Leontes and his guests – curious mouthfuls with their accompanying spoons, edible branches as though straight from the tree, elaborate miniatures ritually revealed from beneath a cloche...

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Macbeth (an undoing), Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh - audacious update of the Scottish play

You’d hardly call a director particularly perceptive for highlighting Lady Macbeth as the true power behind the throne, scheming and cajoling her husband’s bloody ascent to the crown. In her audacious, provocative and thoroughly compelling Macbeth (...

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Titus Andronicus, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse review - notorious play hits and misses

If All's Well That Ends Well, Measure for Measure and Troilus and Cressida have earned the sobriquet "‘problem plays", what price Titus Andronicus? Does a director seek out a Saw vibe for the horror? Do they go for a deadpan Spinal Tap’s...

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Othello, Lyric Hammersmith review - Frantic Assembly's high-energy take on the Moor

Frantic Assembly’s Othello, originally co-developed with the Lyric in 2008, is back in its third iteration, and it’s still not exactly the play you studied at school or saw other companies perform. In some ways, that’s all to the good.Frantic’s...

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As You Like It, @sohoplace review - music-filled, warm-hearted celebration

The scene is set onstage in the first minutes. And it remains a stage throughout this harmonious production. The action takes place in a severe court and a more liberal forest, but really the setting is always a place of imagination, a theatre....

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Othello, National Theatre review - ambitious but emotionally underpowered

Clint Dyer is the first black director of Othello at the National Theatre, a venue that once staged the piece with its actor founder Laurence Olivier playing the lead role in blackface. We are reminded of this now-reviled practice before...

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