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June 03, 2011

Rare John Fletcher at the White Bear

And another newsworthy story, as the 21st century premiere of John Fletcher's The Wild Goose Chase comes to the White Bear in June/July. Definitely a must-see.

The Two Noble Kinsmen in Cambridge

Writing about web page

I just found out about this (thanks: Mervyn Capel) - a very rare production of The Two Noble Kinsmen happening in Cambridge next week. It's a student drama group, but even so, I'd be hugely excited to get down to this. Assuming I can't find the time, though, please do get in touch if you managed to catch it!

March 31, 2011

New Design

Trying out a couple of new layout templates for the blog, after a recent complaint about the dark backdrop. Is this a bit easier on the eyes, do we think?

January 20, 2011

The Next Complete Works

Shakespeare's Globe have just announced their exciting 2012 project -a new Complete Works of Shakespeare. This will see the Globe present 38 plays (don't get me started on the absence of Edward III and Thomas More!) over six months, each one in a different language.

The Bardathon was founded in the spirit of 'event Shakespeare', based on the RSC Complete Works of Shakespeare, and as such I'm strongly considering doing the same again, seeing the lot. This will be something of a financial and logistical challenge, particularly as London is less convenient to be popping to regularly than Stratford. Watch this space though; I thrive on challenges, and it'd be a real shame to let this opportunity pass.

January 18, 2011

Antonio's revenge by Edward's Boys

Antonio’s Revenge

by John Marston (1599)

7.30pm Wednesday 9th March    The Moser Theatre, Wadham College, Oxford

Tickets from School Office: 01789-293351.    Email:

7.30pm Thursday 10th March    Levi Fox Hall, King Edward VI School

Tickets from School Office: 01789-293351.    Email:

7.30pm Saturday 12th March       Levi Fox Hall, King Edward VI School

Tickets from School Office: 01789-293351.    Email:

6.30pm Sunday 13th March        Middle Temple Hall, London

“by kind permission of the Masters of the Bench of the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple”

Tickets from The Treasury, 2 Plowden Buildings, Middle Temple Lane, London EC4Y 9AT.

Tel 020 7427 4800. E:

January 14, 2011

Special Issue of Shakespeare Bulletin

Shakespeare Bulletin – Special Theatre Reviews Section - Spring 2012

We are soliciting reviews of the BEST and the WORST productions of Shakespeare and other early modern drama in the first decade of the twenty-first century.

The theatre reviews section in the Spring 2012 issue of Shakespeare Bulletin will follow a somewhat unusual format.  We would like to run approximately forty very short production-reviews that, in the aggregate, give some sense of the range of productions, and vivid responses to them, positive and negative, over the last ten years.

Reviews may not be longer than 500 words.  The idea behind this length requirement is to encourage formal and stylistic innovation as well as a high degree of focus.  Detailed descriptions of production design, casting, plot development, etc., are not required—not least because many of the productions noted will likely have been reviewed previously in the pages of SB.  We encourage reviewers to find exciting ways of conveying the one or two things that made a given production linger in the memory.

Each review should be prefaced by a short headnote giving the play title, the name of the company that produced it, the venue in which it was produced, and the year of its production. 

Reviewers may submit multiple reviews.  All submissions are, of course, subject to editorial review before being accepted.

Please send reviews by email to the theatre review editor, Jeremy Lopez:

Reviews may be submitted any time before September 30, 2011.

November 23, 2010

RSC 50th anniversary season

Writing about web page

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.

November 08, 2010

New Globe season – and some more Jonson

Writing about web page

Cheers to Duncan, as ever, for the tip: Shakespeare's Globe has announced its new season, and it's a fascinating one: All's Well, Much Ado and - of special interest to me - Faustus, as well as touring productions of Hamlet and As You Like It.

Also, the White Bear Theatre Pub have got a production of Jonson's The Devil is an Ass coming up in late November, perhaps one of my favourite Jonson plays - check it out if you get a chance!

October 14, 2010

Another sellout

Sold out already! Have to say, this wasn't one I was overly excited about (my gut tells me it'll be deeply conservative, light entertainment, though I honestly hope I'm wrong), but the British ticket-buying public have made the decision for me....

Twelfth Night

by William Shakespeare


PLEASE NOTE: This production is now Sold Out.

October 04, 2010

Where's Shakespeare?

Regular readers might have been wondering what's happened to the Bard in Bardathon over the last couple of months. Partly, it's that there's been a glut of non-Shakespeare early modern drama produced recently - plays by Middleton, Kyd, Chettle, Marlowe, Ford - all of which come around far less rarely than Shakespeare, so I've been prioritising these.

What's been going on with Shakespeare? Well, I've had to sacrifice a range of productions for time and cost, which partly accounts for the slowness. I'm particularly disappointed that I wasn't able to arrange time to see the Globe's Henry IV plays, and I attempted to swap a ticket for the touring Comedy of Errors, only to find that the performance I wanted to attend intsead had been cancelled. I also won't make it back up to Liverpool for Antony and Cleopatra - I've only just been, and can't justify a second trip so soon. The Sheffield Hamlet was a little too far, and the RSC have revived productions which I've already seen, and therefore can't justify the expense of re-attending.

It's not all missed opportunities though. I'm seeing the National's Hamlet and Prince of Denmark later in the month, and I'm extremely excited about Propeller's Richard III at Coventry Belgrade and Song of the Goat Theatre's Macbeth. I'm going to cheat and catch the Donmar Lear on the NT Live big screen, and I've already started making plans for the Little Angel Tempest. I have a feeling, however, that I'm not going to catch Peter Brook's version of the Sonnets at the RSC - very much not my cuppa.

I also should catch The Man From Stratford at some point, seeing as my PhD supervisor wrote it.....

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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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