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Hamlet @ Theatre Royal Windsor

A burst of applause unusual in UK theatres greeeted the entrance of the cast of Hamlet, who walked onstage in a line and stood facing the audience in what looked like a premature curtain call. Perhaps the applause was conservative (this was Windsor, after all), a throwback to an earlier time when the arrival of …

The Tempest (Nottingham Playhouse and Lakeside Arts Centre) @ Lakeside Arts Centre Car Park

Storms were scheduled for the matinee of Nottingham Playhouse and Lakeside Arts Centre’s outdoor Tempest, a co-production aimed at reintroducing family audiences to outdoor theatre as part of both venues’ reopening strategy; however, the sun shone brightly throughout. Martin Berry’s 80-minute production (also The Bardathon’s first bit of in-person Shakespeare for well over a year) …

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 …

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 …