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Twelfth Night (National Theatre Primary Classics) @ Warwick Arts Centre

Writing about web page http://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/39017/primary-classics/primary-classics.html The Primary Classics series is an important part of the National Theatre’s youth work. You can argue till you’re blue in the face about the politics of canon, the centrality of Shakespeare as a "necessary" component of primary education, and whether there aren’t a great many more worthwhile theatrical projects …

Three Sisters (Filter) @ Warwick Arts Centre

While I’m not going to give a review of this excellent production (go see it), as it’s outside the remit of this blog, I do just have to flag up an in-joke that had me in hysterics. As the travelling players arrived at the sisters’ house, only to be turned away, they could be heard …

Twelfth Night (RSC) @ The Courtyard Theatre

Writing about web page http://www.rsc.org.uk/whatson/8209.aspx Here’s an interesting question. If one is updating the setting of a Shakespeare play, but needs to incorporate a vast amount of explanatory material in the production’s programme and on its website, are the resonances of the updated setting not then too obscure to hold any meaning for its audience? …

Twelfth Night (Donmar) @ The Wyndham’s Theatre

Writing about web page http://www.donmarwestend.com/twelfth_night/ Michael Grandage’s first Shakespeare for the Donmar’s current West End residency opened, quite literally, with a bang, a mighty crash of thunder and lightning. This call to attention opened an efficient and excellently-performed Twelfth Night that was unashamedly traditional in its desire to please and entertain. An unfussy set saw the …

Twelfth Night vs. National Rail

Right now, at the time of writing, I should be fifty minutes into the Donmar Warehouse’s acclaimed new production of Twelfth Night, watching Derek Jacobi, Ron Cook et al. put my favourite comedy through its paces. However, I’m instead in my study. Why? RAIN! That’s right, yet again Britain is taken completely by surprise when …

Twelfth Night (Filter) @ The Courtyard Theatre

Writing about web page http://www.filtertheatre.com/ As part of the original Complete Works ‘Bardathon’, I was one of the few people lucky enough to catch the earliest days of Filter Theatre’s production of Twelfth Night, when it was still just a work-in-progress being tested out in the tiny Cube space. The finished version has been touring …

Twelfth Night (RSC) @ The Courtyard Theatre

I’m of the opinion that Twelfth Night is one of Shakespeare’s greatest pieces of work. It’s funny, deep, very clever and features some of the greatest characters in the canon. Its immediate appeal is apparent from the number of productions of the play put on every year. The last twelve months alone have seen Filter, …

Twelfth Night (WSAF) @ Warwick Arts Centre

There are dangers to taking on Shakespeare. People are obviously drawn to the history, the accessibility, the guaranteed audiences and the copyright-free texts, but sometimes the dangers get overlooked. Perhaps the most overlooked problem when tackling a Shakespeare play is the question of “Why?”. When every play has such a rich performance history, why do …

Before the Bardathon

As we enter the final week of my year-long project, I’m going to be posting a few retrospective entries in addition to the final couple of reviews. First up, I thought for interest I’d mention my PREVIOUS Shakespeare theatre-going. I haven’t been attending the theatre as long as many people think. Being a Northerner born-and-bred, …

Twelfth Night (Cheek by Jowl) @ The Swan Theatre

Has it really been nine months since I last saw this production? When the Russian ensemble from the Chekov International Theatre Festival visited Warwick Arts Centre back in May 2006, I was only a few plays into the Complete Works Festival, and at the time it was one of the best things I’d ever seen. …