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August 23, 2010

Upcoming non–Shakespeare

I'm feeling a little bit swamped by the embarrassment of productions of non-Shakespearean early modern drama coming up in September. Here are just a few (thanks to Duncan for most of these):

Jonson's The Magnetic Lady at the White Bear.

Kyd's Spanish Tragedy at the Rose Bankside.

Jonson's Alchemist at Hoxton Hall

Ford's 'Tis Pity She's a Whore at Liverpool Everyman

Marlowe's Doctor Faustus at the Royal Exchange in Manchester

Aside from a student production of 'Tis Pity, I haven't seen any of these plays, and it's going to be something of a tough call to decide which to go and see. I'm referencing Faustus, Spanish Tragedy and Magnetic Lady in my PhD work, but 'Tis Pity is amazing on stage, and Alchemist could be hysterical. Anyone out there who gets to any of them (or is involved in them), please let me know what's worth getting to!

July 28, 2010

The Comedy of Errors @ Shakespeare's Globe

That'll teach me to let the weather affect my theatre-going. I was booked in to see the Globe's touring production of Comedy of Errors at Coventry Cathedral on Monday night, but after a very poor work day and with the weather looking extremely gloomy, I decided to pass on my tickets. The plan was, instead, to catch it this (Wednesday) afternoon.

Just called Coventry Cathedral to find that the matinee today has been cancelled owing to lack of ticket sales, and I can't make it this evening. Thus, my only Shakespeare for July passes unseen and unreviewed. Sorry, Globe.

July 14, 2010

Song of the Goat's Macbeth

Writing about web page

Very exciting this. Coming to the Barbican in November is the long-awaited Macbeth by Song of the Goat Theatre. This is the production that was premiered as a work-in-progress during the RSC's Complete Works Festival, and even back then it was a breathtakingly physical and visceral collection of scenes. Don't miss this.

April 12, 2010

The Donmar King Lear

I genuinely don't know how excited I am about this - Michael Grandage is directing Derek Jacobi in King Lear at the Donmar, opening in December. I've enjoyed the three Grandage productions I've seen, but they have all been rather safe, which is the same reaction I've had to Jacobi's performances in the past. Still, the Donmar have good form and it'll be interesting to see Lear in that relatively intimate space.

April 08, 2010

Fiennes' Coriolanus blog

Writing about web page

Following up a tip from Duncan, here's a link to Ralph Fiennes' Coriolanus blog. He's playing the title role in a major new motion picture, so I'll be following this with some interest.

February 12, 2010

Shakespeare Remixed

From next week, Tara Arts are presenting their "Shakespeare Remixed" Festival, which looks ace. Mini-productions of Othello, Lear, Macbeth, Romeo, Pericles and Dream by a variety of companies. I'll be seeing the Romeo, presented by the Tiny Ninja Theater, but I'll be very happy to hear from anyone who makes it to any of the other productions!

November 27, 2009

Another Comedy

Nice to see Errors so popular at the moment! The Royal Exchange's Macbeth was one of the more interesting Shakespeares I saw this year, so I'll definitely be back for their new Comedy of Errors. And the fact it's directed by a new RSC Associate Director is worth noting, it'll be interesting to see how this relates to her forthcoming work for the larger company.

November 13, 2009

Coriolanus: The Movie

Not really news, because there's very little to report, but the casting information available so far about this new movie of Coriolanus is pretty tantalising.....

October 21, 2009

Spanish Tragedy

Writing about web page

I'd completely missed this: a production of The Spanish Tragedy at the Arcola in London. Rather desperate to see this, but don't think there's any chance of me getting down to London before November 14th. If you've never seen or read this play, book now - essential viewing, particularly if you're a fan of Hamlet.

If anyone reading this sees it, do post a comment and let me know how it was!

October 12, 2009

RSC 2010

Writing about web page

The RSC's plans for 2010 have been announced in a little more detail now, and it's looking to be an interesting year! On the Shakespeare front, David Farr's Lear should be interesting, particularly as it's the first play this ensemble are performing that is usually a star vehicle. Rupert Goold's Romeo appeals, not because I'm particularly a fan of Goold's work (Lear - poor, Macbeth - decent, Tempest - flashes of brilliance, but dull), but because there are apparently going to be a couple of decent, experienced actors playing the star-crossed lovers, Sam Troughton and Mariah Gale (if my informants are correct...), which is all I've been wanting from a Romeo for years. Michael Boyd's Antony, meanwhile, is another one I see no reason not to look forward for, particularly when Kathryn Hunter's casting as Cleopatra goes so against the usual image of that role. Looking forward to them!

The announcement that Tarrell Alvin McCraney is directing a young person's version of Hamlet is pretty mouth-watering too. I've met McCraney a couple of times, as he's the CAPITAL Centre's playwright-in-residence, and he's enormously inspiring, and his play The Brothers Size was a remarkably powerful piece of work. I love the RSC's young person's Shakespeare, and the fact that they're reviving Paul Hunter's excellent Comedy of Errors alongside it should make for a very interestig double-bill.

The fact that I'm teaching medieval literature this year makes an adaptation of Morte d'Arthur hugely appealing, especially when adapted by Mike Poulton, who did such a top-notch job with The Canterbury Tales (an abbreviated version of which, incidentally, Northern Broadsides are producing next year).

The thing I'm so far devastated by, though, is the implication that Ben Power'sA Tender Thing is only going to be playing for a week, and in Newcastle. I would LOVE to see this, but there is no way I can get to Newcastle while it's on. I love my Shakespearean adaptations, as regulars will know well, and the idea of a version of Romeo and Juliet reimagined for characters in their seventies, with those characters played by Kathryn Hunter and Forbes Masson, sounds like exactly the kind of thing I love. I can only hope and plead with any RSC suits that might be reading this that they PLEASE revive the play in Stratford - seeing as both actors are going to be here as part of the ensemble, surely it can't be that difficult?!

Finally, a musical version of Roald Dahl's Matilda as the Christmas show. Lovely.

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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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