sat 24/06/2017

Shakespeare

Hamlet, Harold Pinter Theatre review - dislocatingly fresh makeover

Midway through Hamlet a troupe of actors arrives at Elsinore. Coaching them for his own ends, the prince turns director, delivering an impassioned critique: “O! it offends me to the soul to hear a robustious, periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to...

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Hamlet, Glyndebourne review - integrity if not genius in Brett Dean's score

Nature’s germens tumble all together rather readily in more recent operatic Shakespeare. Following the overblown storm before the storm of Reimann’s Lear and the premature angst of Ryan Wigglesworth’s The Winter’s Tale, what's rotten in the state of...

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'The challenge is to make something of not very much': Iestyn Davies on Britten's Oberon

Tomorrow Britten’s opera A Midsummer Night’s Dream will begin a short run at the Snape Maltings, Suffolk in a new production directed by Netia Jones and conducted by Ryan Wigglesworth. It will mark the high point of the Aldeburgh Festival’s summer...

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Twelfth Night, Shakespeare's Globe review - Emma Rice goes out with a bang

The Globe’s artistic director Emma Rice has made no secret of her desire to go out with a bang, in this, the final season of her brutally truncated tenure at the company. With this Twelfth Night she stages a departure with bells (and whistles, and...

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Richard III review - Greg Hicks gruesomely impressive as power-crazed ruler

There may never have been a time when Shakespeare’s Richard III did not have contemporary relevance, but surely never more than it does right now. And it’s to the credit of director Mehmet Ergen that this production doesn’t go to town on it, but...

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Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare's Globe review - 'too much brouhaha'

“Everything in extremity”. That announcement that the Capulet party is about to begin could just as well serve to describe Daniel Kramer’s Romeo and Juliet as a whole. Opening the Globe's new season, it will provoke reactions as conflicting as the...

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Lady Macbeth review - 'memorably nasty'

The Scottish play’s traces are faint in this bloody, steamy tale of feminist psychosis. Based on Nikolai Leskov’s Dostoevsky-commissioned novel Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, its 1865 setting is transferred from Tsarist Russia to Northumberland....

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Stoller Hall Opening, Chetham's School of Music, Manchester

The opening of a new concert hall offers two options for opinionizing: the venue itself – or the performances in it? Review the acoustics – or the music? It has to be a mixture of the two, in the end. Chetham’s School of Music, in Manchester, has...

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'What did you do?' Actors reveal their Shakespearean secrets

Much of the brilliance of Shakespeare lies in the openness, or ambiguity, of his texts. Whereas a novelist will often describe a character, an action or a scene in the most minute detail, Shakespeare knew that his scenarios would only be fully...

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The Winter's Tale, Barbican review - Cheek by Jowl's latest wavers in tone

This is a well-travelled Winter’s Tale. Declan Donnellan has long been a director who's as much at home abroad as he is in the UK, and with co-production support here coming pronouncedly from Europe (there's American backing, too), Cheek by Jowl...

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Roman Tragedies, Toneelgroep Amsterdam, Barbican

It felt good to be encountering Shakespeare at his most political with a world event to smile about, for once (hailing, of course, from this brilliant Dutch company's homeland). It felt even better to emerge six hours later spellbound and deeply...

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Romeo and Juliet, West Yorkshire Playhouse

Amy Leach’s energetic Romeo and Juliet is fast, furious and a little breathless, the setting transposed from Verona to a fairly grim contemporary Leeds. Think West Yorkshire Side Story. Leach’s starting point was hearing about conflict resolution in...

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