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The Comedy of Errors (RSC) @ The Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Garden Theatre

‘Capitalism!’ crooned the four-strong Chorus who provided an acapella doo-wop score for Phillip Breen’s Comedy of Errors. Errors isn’t a play which demands a subtle approach, and the singers identifying the core interpretive ethos of this production offered a nice punchline, as on-the-nose as the punches that repeatedly landed on both Dromios’ faces. In a …

Henry V (RSC/Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre) @ Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre

The RSC’s Folio Translation Project, designed to create new Chinese-language translations of the canon, began in 2016 with Owen Horsley’s production of So Kwok Wan’s translation of Henry V. Made available to delegates at the World Shakespeare Congress, the film of the production captures a lean, contemporary take on the play that is unmistakably RSC in its aesthetic (dark …

1 Henry VI Open Rehearsal Run-through (RSC) @ online

The three weeks of the RSC 1 Henry VI Open Rehearsal Project – previously discussed on The Bardathon here – culminated on June 23rd with a full rehearsal run through in the Swan rehearsal rooms, as the midsummer light waned through the windows around the room. Running at a stripped-down two hours, this was still a …

Henry VI, Part One: Open Rehearsal Project (RSC) @ The RSC rehearsal rooms (online)

The RSC has been cautious about its reopening in summer 2021. Where other theatres are beginning to tentatively let socially distanced crowds back into their buildings, the RSC has committed instead to a different kind of programme and a different kind of co-presence. The upcoming The Comedy of Errors will make use of the theatre’s unique …

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 …

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 …

As You Like It (RSC) @ Theatre Royal, Nottingham

The Bardathon made his RSC stage debut last night, in the small but pivotal role of ‘Tree Covered In Post-It Notes’. Brought on after the interval of As You Like It, this hapless audience member’s role was to stand in a coat festooned with hundreds of stick-on lines of poetry, and chip in with the …

King John (RSC) @ The Swan Theatre

In a pointed and spectacular image towards the end of Eleanor Rhode’s production of King John, Cardinal Pandulph (Zara Ramm doing fantastic understudy work) sashayed across a stage filled with English and French soldiers wrestling and dying. King John (Rosie Sheehy) lay dead in an aluminium bathtub, bled out and soiled. As Pandulph reached centre-stage, …

Venice Preserved (RSC) @ The Swan Theatre

Thomas Otway’s 1682 tragedy, part of a mini-season of Restoration plays in the Swan, is a depressing affair. Despite the large scale of its political plot, as a group of conspirators led by an ambassador band together to overthrow the Venetian state, its focus is on a three-way relationship between a man, his secret wife, …

Measure for Measure (RSC/Live from Stratford-upon-Avon) @ The Broadway, Nottingham

Gregory Doran’s new Measure for Measure seemed, at times, to be almost defiantly setting itself against ‘relevance’. Eschewing the contemporary settings of several recent productions that have more explicitly responded to the #MeToo moment and the abuses of power in the highest offices (whether political, entertainment, sports), Doran returned to the text’s setting of Vienna, but updated …