Richard II. Richard II is not one of Shakespeare’s most accessible plays. It’s long, it’s entirely in verse (much of it rhyming couplets, making it difficult to conduct a realistic conversation), the historical background is alien to us and we are plunged right into a dispute that can seem pretty baffling to the uninitiated. Additionally,… More Tennant as Richard II – what did I think?
I’m obviously backsliding as a Tennant fan, because the much-rumoured news that he was to play Richard II for the RSC came as a complete surprise to me. After some frankly forgettable movies, it’s the right part for the right man at the right time. If he left it much longer I think he’d find… More Tennant returns to Stratford – and more good news
Antigone is a short, intense and deeply political play, as relevant now as it was two and a half millennia ago. Though it is set in a society alien to our own, the issues it explores are universal. The production I saw at the National Theatre is set in a nuclear bunker of sorts, closely… More Christopher Eccleston in Antigone – National Theatre, London
The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, Is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils; The motions of his spirit are dull as night And his affections dark as Erebus: Let no such man be trusted. Mark the music. The Merchant of Venice – Act V,… More Sweet Music – The Subtle Seductions of South Pacific and Shakespeare
Imagine being forcibly woken after eight hundred years of suspended animation, to be faced by a heartless corporate clone informing you that the programme you signed up for has run out of money, so you’re going to be turned out into a society you can barely comprehend with no support whatsoever. This is the unenviable… More You’re never alone with a clone – “Futureshock” reviewed
Charles Spencer from the Telegraph must really have it in for the RSC this winter season. He condemns their David Edgar play about the King James Bible, Written on the Heart, as “wordy and hard work,” and takes an almost visceral dislike Roxana Silbert’s production of Measure for Measure, Shakespeare’s problem comedy of sex and… More Measure For Measure, RSC Swan Theatre, Stratford
Two very different quotations I came across today get right to the heart of the debate about Shakespeare adaptation: In the red corner we have Brad Bevitt, who can’t see the point of dressing Shakespeare up in modern clothes and retaining all the original verse. He’s specifically discussing the new Coriolanus adapted by… More The Pleasures and Pitfalls of Presentist Shakespeare