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The Merchant of Venice (RSC/Live from Stratford) @ The Broadway, Nottingham

Last night’s broadcast of The Merchant of Venice was one of the more fraught of the RSC Live from Stratford-upon-Avon screenings so far. Perhaps it was the reflective glitter of the golden mirrored wall that towered over the set, but the picture quality was much fuzzier than I’ve seen it for any live broadcast so …

Everyman (National Theatre/NT Live) @ The Broadway Cinema, Nottingham

The introduction to Chiwitel Ejiofor’s Everyman and his friends, a sequence that must have taken up a good ten minutes of drug snorting, swearing, shagging, drinking, fighting, dancing and selfie-snapping, set out Rufus Norris and Javier de Frutos’s new Everyman as achingly, perhaps even desperately, ‘contemporary’. Distilling the vices of the modern world (particularly the …

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Theatre for a New Audience) @ Nottingham Broadway

I’m yet, to my memory, to see a professional Shakespeare production in the US, so the decision to film and broadcast Julie Taymor’s spectacular thrust-stage take on A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a welcome one. Notwithstanding Spiderman (and perhaps that show’s cataclysmic production history unfairly detracts from the ambition and achievement therein), Taymor’s proven ability …

Hamlet (Royal Exchange) @ The Broadway, Nottingham

Watching the Royal Exchange production of Hamlet on the big screen, in a specially recorded film version (still performed in front of an audience, but with a certain amount of editing work to make the most of key images), brought home to me the significance of much of the production’s work. While I enjoyed the …

Love’s Labour’s Won [Much Ado about Nothing] (RSC/Live from Stratford) @ The Broadway, Nottingham

Where Christopher Luscombe’s Love’s Labour’s Lost was a pleasant surprise, its self-parodic wit trumping the pull towards nostalgia and self-indulgence that the period setting might have implied, Love’s Labour’s Won had the opposite effect on me. Here, a series of uncomfortable decisions underwritten by unpleasant assumptions marred a production that had a great deal of …

Love’s Labour’s Lost (RSC/Live from Stratford) @ The Broadway Cinema, Nottingham

The pairing of Love’s Labour’s Lost with Much Ado about Nothing in the RSC’s current season has caused no small amount of comment. The controversial retitling of the latter play as Love’s Labour’s Won is a publicity stunt although not without merit – the implication that the two plays are narrative sequels is bunk, but …

The Two Gentlemen of Verona (RSC/Live from Stratford) @ The Broadway, Nottingham

Much was made during last night’s live broadcast of the RSC’s Two Gentlemen of Verona of the fact that it has been in the region of forty-five years since the play last made it onto the main stage at Stratford. One of the great things about the current trundle through the canon is that it …

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 …

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 …

Coriolanus (Donmar/NT Live) @ The Broadway, Nottingham

The Hiddleston effect is a very tangible thing. As the stalwart Emma Freud reminded international audiences in what was, frankly, the most banal interval interview NT Live has yet managed (which is saying something), Tom Hiddleston was recently voted Sexiest Man Alive by MTV, and his Coriolanus attracted the youngest audience I’ve yet seen to …