// Archives

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 …

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 …

Hamlet (RSC) @ The Royal Shakespeare Theatre

Creating smallness on the stage of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre is no easy feat, but  David Farr’s new production of Hamlet shrunk Stratford’s flagship theatre down to an almost nostalgic depiction of a community hall. School benches and gym bars flanked the thrust stage; fencing foils lined the walls, and a small proscenium stage marked the upstage focus. …

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (As You Like It) (Dmitry Krymov’s Laboratory) @ The Royal Shakespeare Theatre

The programme for Dmitry Krymov’s production, a special commission for the World Shakespeare Festival, depicts an acrobatic Jack Russell Terrier balancing on one paw on top of Shakespeare’s head. It is an image that says everything and nothing about the production that “turns Shakespeare on his head”, speaking to the conscious irreverence of the company’s …

Twelfth Night (RSC) @ The Royal Shakespeare Theatre

Writing about web page http://www.rsc.org.uk/whats-on/twelfth-night/ The RSC’s first salvo in the 2012 World Shakespeare Festival is a major new trilogy of plays on the theme of shipwrecks, all performed by one company of actors. The absence of Pericles is a mystery (actually, it’s not a mystery at all – it’s not a play that sells …

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (RSC) @ The Royal Shakespeare Theatre

Writing about web page http://www.rsc.org.uk/whats-on/dream/ It is traditional to frame the main action of A Midsummer Night’s Dream within a particularly threatening Athens, allowing the comedy to stand in contrast to the formality and danger of the court. Nancy Meckler’s new production for the RSC was no exception. Theseus (Jo Stone-Fewings) was a London mob …