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Coriolanus (RSC/Live from Stratford) @ The Royal Shakespeare Theatre/Nottingham Broadway

Much was made in the pre-show paratexts for the RSC’s live broadcast of Coriolanus of the play’s contemporaneity, and at the same time the general nature of that contemporaneity. Coriolanus, as Haydn Gwynne suggested, is a play that always feels contemporary. In fact, this was one of the least specifically resonant Coriolani(?) I’ve seen for …

Hamlet (RSC) @ The Royal Shakespeare Theatre

Seeing the same ensemble of actors take on Hamlet two days after Cymbeline, I was struck by the demands placed on a company performing these two long plays together – the mercifully shorter Hamlet still ran to an energetic three hours and fifteen minutes. And this is one of the consistently strongest ensembles I remember …

Henry V (RSC/Live from Stratford-upon-Avon) @ The Broadway, Nottingham

Gregory Doran’s jaunt through the second tetralogy has come to its climax with this, a Henry V lauded by The Telegraph as ‘the production this country needs’. Following some discussions on Twitter, I remain unconvinced by what exactly this country might ‘need’ from Henry V. Leaders born into privilege who disguise their true purposes and …

Othello (RSC/Live from Stratford) @ The Broadway, Nottingham

With the exception of the German production that played for four nights during the Complete Works Festival, it’s been well over a decade since Othello was last on the main stage at the RSC. Of all the plays deemed controversial, from The Taming of the Shrew to The Merchant of Venice, Othello is the one …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Richard II (RSC) @ The Royal Shakespeare Theatre

As a statement of intent, Gregory Doran’s launch to his tenure as RSC Artistic Director is perfectly judged. Richard II is the most ‘Doranish’ production one could imagine, from the gorgeously conceived lighting design to the sensitive treatment of male-male relationships, from the meticulous attention to detail in the tiniest roles to the playful but …

All’s Well that Ends Well (RSC) @ The Royal Shakespeare Theatre

The last production in the RSC’s 2012 summer season, a rare main-stage outing for All’s Well that Ends Well, followed a recent series of successful London revivals of the play, including the Globe’s own, the visiting production by Arpana Theatre (which I’ve reviewed in the recently released CUP book Shakespeare Beyond English), and the National Theatre’s sublime …

As You Like It (RSC) @ The Royal Shakespeare Theatre

Playing in repertory with Hamlet, Maria Aberg’s new production of As You Like It shared more than just a company that reunited the leading players from her spectacular King John last year. The same foundational level of muddy soil that was exposed throughout Hamlet to finish that play in an upturned graveyard emerged again here, but as the end result of the gradual unpacking …