The Bardathon

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Hamlet (Yohangza Theatre) @ The Peacock Theatre, London

A raised platform thrust upwards from a bed of fine gravel, while towering tapestries on three sides of the stage depicted ancient Korean men and women in formal postures and brightly coloured clothes. Onto this stage stepped a man in black, reading a Penguin edition of Hamlet, who began speaking words whose cadences, even if …

Titus Andronicus @ Shakespeare’s Globe

As with the 2006 original production, the current revival of Lucy Bailey’s Titus Andronicus has been making headlines for its experiential elements rather than for the performance itself. Specifically, yet again, the audience has been fainting in droves. There’s a culture of expectation around the fainting for this production fuelled by the media and Twittersphere, …

Midsummer Mischief (Royal Shakespeare Company) @ The Other Place at the Courtyard Theatre

At one point during a day of events forming the RSC’s Midsummer Mischief festival of new writing and vocal women, festival coordinator and RSC Deputy Artistic Director Erica Whyman expressed her frustration that professional critics have so far focused almost entirely on the wonderful strangeness – even the victory – of having a whole season …

Henry IV Part 2 (RSC Live from Stratford-upon-Avon) @ The Broadway, Nottingham

There were over a hundred spare seats at the Broadway last night for the RSC’s live streaming of Henry IV Part 2. After years of being used to sold-out screenings of NT Live broadcasts, I can but speculate over the reasons for this.No doubt the time of year, the lack of a major film or …

Now: In The Wings on a World Stage @ The Broadway, Nottingham

Almost twenty years after Al Pacino had the odd idea of making a documentary about rehearsing a production of Richard III that never actually happened, and releasing Looking for Richard in cinemas, comes the second film about the processes and personalities behind a version of the play. Now follows an actual production, the Bridge Project’s …

The Duchess of Malfi (Shakespeare’s Globe) @ BBC4

In a new age of broadcast theatre where the prices for NT Live and Live from Stratford screenings are creeping up (and where the Globe’s own DVDs are still shockingly expensive), it is refreshing and welcome to see The Globe broadcasting its major production of The Duchess of Malfi for free on BBC4. This is, …

I, Malvolio (Tim Crouch) @ Curve

I, Malvolio is one of the bravest shows I have seen in some time. How many pieces of theatre invite two young children to come on stage to hold a rope and kick out a chair while the title character prepares to hang himself? Although it carried an age warning of 11+, Tim Crouch’s one-man …

Henry IV Part One (RSC Live from Stratford-upon-Avon) @ The Broadway Cinema, Nottingham

This was the first of the ‘Live From Stratford-upon-Avon’ events that I’ve attended, the live screenings from Stratford modelled on the NT Live series that will, hopefully, by 2020 see the complete works of Shakespeare broadcast internationally from the RSC’s main stage. If the RSC wishes to remain competitive in a new market then it’s …

Doctor Faustus (Lakeside/Nottingham New Theatre) @ Lakeside Arts Centre

Following last year’s Lysistrata, Nottingham New Theatre continues its collaboration with Lakeside Arts Centre on student productions with a professional spin. Martin Berry’s production, with an all-student cast and professional design and creative team, showcased the spectacular potential of the Lakeside space with a version of Marlowe’s Faustus that situated its protagonist at the centre …

King Lear (National Theatre/NT Live) @ The Broadway, Nottingham

This is the second time NT Live has broadcast a version of King Lear. The first, back in 2011, was the Donmar’s extraordinary pared-down version starring Derek Jacobi, drawing its power from the intimate, bare set and performances that utilised whispers to wonderful effect. By contrast, Sam Mendes’ new production for the Olivier was an …