Tag Archives: Shakespeare

Macbeth

Barbican Theatre, London (*****)

© Sakurahutar, Masachika Ichimura and Yuko Tanaka - Macbeth and Lady Macbeth

© Sakurahutar, Masachika Ichimura and Yuko Tanaka – Macbeth and Lady Macbeth

Yukio Ninagawa, Peter Brook, Peter Stein, Robert Lepage, Pina Bausch, Merce Cunningham, Yuri Lubimov – the 1980s and 1990s inspired an amazing blossoming of world class international directors. Continue reading

Hamlet

Trafalgar Studios, London (****)

© Robert Workman, the remarkable Mark Arends as a fiercely tormented Hamlet

© Robert Workman, the remarkable Mark Arends as a fiercely tormented Hamlet

When it comes to radical rethinks of Shakespeare, sometimes you find it in the most unexpected places. Kelly Hunter’s Hamlet is one that hammers on the eyelids. Ferocious and deeply moving, it harbours an incendiary central performance from Mark Arends that at times makes you fear for his life, so emotionally tethered is it to its character’s nerve endings. Continue reading

Richard III

Almeida Theatre, London (****)

© Marc Brenner, Ralph Fiennes (Richard)

© Marc Brenner, Ralph Fiennes (Richard)

Like The Merchant of Venice and anti-semitism, staging Shakespeare’s Tudor propagandist Richard III, has become more problematic with our changing 21st century sensibilities towards disability. Continue reading

Macbeth

Young Vic Theatre, London (***)

© Richard Hubert Smith

© Richard Hubert Smith

If you come out of the theatre extolling the virtues of the set rather than the play, well, something’s amiss somewhere. Fine to re-cast Shakespeare in a mode for today but this is the second Young Vic Shakespeare whose obsession with modernity falls on the side of tricksy rather than illuminating. Continue reading

Henry V

Barbican Theatre, London (****)

© Keith Pattison

© Keith Pattison

The RSC’s ambitions know no bounds. Even whilst Greg Doran’s four-play King and Country culminates at the Barbican with revivals of Richard II (with David Tennant), Henry IV parts 1 & 2 (with Antony Sher and Jasper Britton) and Henry V, they’re also embarked on a translation of the complete works of Shakespeare into Chinese, to coincide with the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s First Folio in 2023. Continue reading