sun 14/04/2024

Globe

The Duchess of Malfi, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse review - the good end badly, but act best

“All discord without this circumference,” the Duchess of Malfi tells the good man she’s just asked to be her husband, “is only to be pitied and not feared”. Perhaps the villains should be more feared and less pitied in the imbalanced casting of...

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Othello, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse review - 21st century interpretation delivers food for thought

Detective Chief Inspector Othello leads a quasi-paramilitary team of Metropolitan Police officers investigating gang activity in Docklands. With a chequered past now behind him, he has reformed and has the respect of both the team he leads and his...

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Ghosts, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse review - a claustrophobic descent into purgatory

Henrik Ibsen may well have wanted to shake things up, to rile against the social mores of his time. But his visionary critiques didn’t usually come with anything as radical as, say, optimism. And there’s no more of a downer than Ghosts....

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As You Like It, Shakespeare's Globe review - vibrant, ebullient fun in a forest where anything goes

To proclaim that you’re playing gender games with Shakespeare’s As You Like It seems a little like announcing that you have a bicycle with two wheels, or indeed that you’re doing something interesting with rhythms in Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring.Let’...

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Macbeth, Shakespeare's Globe review - uneven production of intermittent power

That Shakespeare speaks to his audiences anew with every production is a cliché, but, like so many such, the glib blandness of the assertion conceals an insistent truth. The Thane of Glamis has had some success in life, gains preferment from those...

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A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare's Globe review - busy production overflowing with new ideas

Two years on from Sean Holmes’ production and seven on from Emma Rice’s (both of which featured diverse casts), Elle While takes a turn with the old warhorse’s lovers and fairies, its sparring couples and its Morecambe and Wise-like shambles of a...

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The Comedy of Errors, Shakespeare's Globe review - comedy and confusion

Shakespeare drew on Plautus’s Menaechmi for this early short comedy. Was it his competitive streak that made him up the ante with not one set of identical twins but two?Imagine that you have newly arrived in a place that you have never visited...

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The Winter's Tale, Shakespeare's Globe review - clever concept never quite catches fire

As course after course of Noma-style creations are served up to Leontes and his guests – curious mouthfuls with their accompanying spoons, edible branches as though straight from the tree, elaborate miniatures ritually revealed from beneath a cloche...

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Titus Andronicus, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse review - notorious play hits and misses

If All's Well That Ends Well, Measure for Measure and Troilus and Cressida have earned the sobriquet "‘problem plays", what price Titus Andronicus? Does a director seek out a Saw vibe for the horror? Do they go for a deadpan Spinal Tap’s...

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Hakawatis: Women of the Arabian Nights, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse review - magical stories by candlelight

Do you remember how the 1001 Nights ends? You know how it starts: Scheherazade has been married to a king who kills his brides the day after he marries them. She tells him a story so good that he simply has to know what happens next, and she...

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Henry V, Shakespeare's Globe review - anatomy of a violent, murky world of leadership

It begins in darkness. All that can be heard is the sound of a human struggling painfully for breath so that even before the lights go up we have the sense of a life coming to an end. It’s a stark contrast to the triumphalism of the play’s original...

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I, Joan, Shakespeare's Globe review - a non-binary retelling that's as ebullient as it's irreverent

This raw, joyous, irreverent take on Joan of Arc made headlines before opening night for its depiction of the fifteenth-century warrior saint as non-binary. Yet what shines out in Charlie Josephine’s fresh, deliberately pared-down script is that all...

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