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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 …

The Merry Wives of Whatsapp (Creation) @ Zoom

The basic set-up of The Merry Wives of Windsor feels tailor-made for lockdown, at least in Creation’s retelling by Olivia Mace and Lizzie Hopley. This tale of a busy, prying neighbourhood, all up in one another’s business and living for gossip, translates well to a modern suburban Whatsapp group populated by messages from Shallow about the …

The Winter’s Tale (Renegade Theatre) @ Shakespeare’s Globe (via Globe Player)

The Winter’s Tale is structured, at roughly its mid-point, around a passage of time. It’s a play whose passage of sixteen years allows for an evocation of long regret and mourning, of aging and changing, of memory and forgiveness (or not). But in Ìtàn Ògìnìntìn, performed at the Globe as part of the 2012 Globe to …

What You Will (The Shakespeare Ensemble) @ online

Of the Shakespeare events produced during lockdown, The Shakespeare Ensemble’s What You Will is one of the ones to make the most of the affordances of digital media. Eschewing entirely the need for linear narration, the original live event hosted no fewer than nine separate streams occurring simultaneously, creating a virtual promenade performance that allowed audiences …

Ali Smith, ‘Summer’ (Hamish Hamilton)

In one of Ali Smith’s trademark dizzying verbal association games, an unnamed character in Summer explains that a load-bearing stone is often called a ‘summer’; at which another character, Grace, muses on why we load summer with so many expectations, much more than the other seasons. It’s framed as a time of renewal, of rest, …

The Merry Wives of Windsor @ Shakespeare’s Globe (webstream)

In releasing its 2019 The Merry Wives of Windsor as one of its free YouTube premieres, the Globe justly celebrates one of its finest ensembles (who later in the year went on to perform in Bartholomew Fair). Elle While’s thirties-set production is a jolly, entertaining farce that treats the play with the light touch it …