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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. …

Romeo and Juliet (National Theatre) @ The Dorfman, London (via Drama Online)

The National Theatre’s schools’ productions have developed in enormous sophistication over the last couple of decades, and it’s testament to their success as creative works in their own right that, not only are they getting runs at the National’s south bank base, but that two of them (Romeo and Juliet and The Winter’s Tale, which …

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) …

The King (Netflix/Plan B) @ Netflix

The King clearly sees the potential, in a post-Game of Thrones world, for the story of the Henry IV/Henry V plays to become the basis for a gritty, f-bomb-dropping, twenty-first-century medievalist fantasy of heroism and difficult choices and violence. The material is right there in the corrupt older generation, the sneering enemies, the balance of personal stakes …

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 …

Romeo and Juliet (Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank) @ Shakespeare’s Globe

The Globe’s choice to release recordings of its Playing Shakespeare productions for young people alongside several of its summer season productions during lockdown has been an inspired choice. Fast, clear and full of energy, Michael Oakley’s version of Romeo and Juliet – filmed efficiently by Glenn Barton – gets a laugh as the Chorus (spoken …