November 23, 2010

RSC 50th anniversary season

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Plenty to be excited about in the announcement of the new RSC season, which marks both the first new productions to play in the redeveloped RST and the fiftieth anniversary of the modern RSC.

  • Macbeth directed by Michael Boyd: I'm genuinely excited to see what Boyd - with his vivid imagination, use of vertical playing space and fascination with the dead - brings to the play that perhaps best lends itself to reinterpretation.
  • The Merchant of Venice directed by Rupert Goold: he's had some hits and misses with Shakespeare, but they're never boring.
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream directed by Nancy Meckler: a stunning director (though amusingly, the press announcement asks audiences to recall her Comedy of Errors, tactfully overlooking the more recent Romeo and Juliet) who will hopefully bring something interesting to a play that is, let's face it, a little over-performed.
  • Marat/Sade - this sounds FASCINATING!
  • Cardenio directed by Gregory Doran: obviously this is of particular interest to me, bu it will be great to see the story (even if it's not Double Falsehood itself) dramatised in a full-scale professional production.
  • The City Madam: Wonderfully, the Swan opens with a relatively obscure play by Massinger in the mix. This is exactly the kind of work the Swan should be reviving, and perhaps the most exciting thing for me in this programme.
  • Dunsinane: I'm looking forward to getting the chance to see this spin on Macbeth; and nice that it'll presumably be playing alongside Shakespeare's play.
  • The Homecoming: Pinter's not my thing; but the breadth of this programme is really quite extraordinary for an opening season, especially after such a conservative few years in Stratford.
  • The Taming of the Shrew directed by Tim Crouch: I saw The Author not long ago, and was impressed by Crouch's intelligence and ideas. More fascinating, though, is the idea of a Shrew aimed specifically at kids, which I'm intrigued to see.

- 3 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Duncan

    Jonathan Slinger has been confirmed for the title role in Macbeth (Theatre Voice interview and report by Charlotte Higgins in the Guardian). Having seen him play villains before I’m really forward to his take on the role.

    23 Nov 2010, 21:30

  2. Justin B. Hopkins

    An inside source confirms Patrick Stewart in Merchant.

    30 Nov 2010, 08:30

  3. Extremely excited about Slinger’s Macbeth; but also about Stewart as Shylock (I assume, anyway?!). He and McKellen have been talking about doing a Merchant for a long time, with McKellen as Antonio – please, please, PLEASE!

    03 Dec 2010, 09:42

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Peter Kirwan is Teaching Associate in Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama at the University of Nottingham and a reviewer of Shakespearean theatre for several academic journals.

The Bardathon is his experimental review blog, covering productions of (or based on) all early modern plays. The aim is to combine immediate reactions with the detail and analysis of the academic review.

Theatre criticism always needs more voices. Please comment with your own views and contributions!

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