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The Winter’s Tale (RSC) @ BBC4

It’s become customary to see theatre shows performed in empty auditoria over the last year, but perhaps none quite so grandly empty as the RSC’s new Winter’s Tale. This is a production that has skipped over its own ‘gap of time’ – fully rehearsed but pulled just before it was due to open back in …

Romeo and Juliet (National Theatre) @ Sky Arts

A group of actors gather in a rehearsal room, chatting and laughing; we cut to them sat in chairs, making up three sides of a large square. It looks like meet-and-greet day, only there’s no director, no box set to show. Instead, it’s one of the actors, Lucian Msamati, who speaks, and he’s speaking the Prologue. …

The Duchess of Malfi (Creation/TORCH) @ Zoom

The dynamics of looking within The Duchess of Malfi are subtle and complex. Whether in its moments of extraordinary spectacle, as dismembered bodies are revealed and cardinals are armed, or in the more quotidian business of spying, commenting, and observing from the sidelines, the play repeatedly triangulates the audience’s gaze and engages its onstage and offstage viewers …

Dream Online (Royal Shakespeare Company) @ online

In the post-show talk-back for the RSC’s online virtual-reality Dream, the creative team talked enthusiastically about the ‘potential’ of the medium for creating digital theatre productions with open-ended narrative and global interactivity with mass audiences. ‘Potential’ feels like the best word to describe this Dream: a diverting experiment with some beautiful visuals and music, but which felt …

Romeo & Juliet (Metcalfe Gordon Productions)

For almost a year, now, there have been few opportunities to see new productions of Shakespeare inside a theatre; fewer still where actors are able to touch, to interact. Metcalfe Gordon Productions’ new theatre-film hybrid production of Romeo and Juliet is an experiment in using technology to reproduce what has been lost, filming the actors (mostly) …

A King and No King (Red Bull Theater) @ YouTube

While there have been no end of opportunities to watch Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream during lockdown, the plays of Shakespeare’s contemporaries have had rather shorter shrift. It’s a delight, then, that New York’s Red Bull Theater worked to bring together a stellar cast for a live reading of Beaumont and Fletcher’s incest drama A King and …

Macbeth: A Conjuring (Shakespeare’s Globe) @ The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

Macbeth: A Conjuring is a welcome anomaly in the era of streamed and socially distanced theatre. For Bonfire Night 2020, as part of its ‘Shakespeare and Fear’ festival, the Globe reunited the cast of its 2018 Macbeth (reviewed on The Bardathon here) to offer a socially distanced, partially staged reading of the play. It’s a great use …

Macbeth (Big Telly) @ Zoom

Macbeth’s uncanniness, its waywardness (to take the word that Scott Newstok and Ayanna Thompson’s important book privileges), is central to its blurring of boundaries, its confusion between what is real and what is not. Zoom offers an ideal medium to explore this uncanniness. Big Telly’s production, broadcast in collaboration with Creation Theatre, exploited all the …

The Winter’s Tale (The Show Must Go Online) @ Zoom

As The Show Must Go Online moves into its final four shows in its ambitious project to stage all of the plays from the First Folio as live Zoom readings, the inventiveness of this project continues undiminished. From a screen packed out with footage of farmyard animals interspersed with animals to represent the sheep-shearing, to the …

American Moor (Red Bull Theatre) @ YouTube

I’ve had the pleasure already of reading and loving Keith Hamilton Cobb’s American Moor, but the opportunity to see the man himself perform the play via Zoom is too fantastic a one to pass up. In the space of digital theatre, a play that is so concerned with presence and gaze and disparities of experience …