Henry V


seen 21 October, Haydn English Cinema Vienna

Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Gregory Doran

Having staged both parts of Henry IV last year, the RSC kindly brought us Henry V just in time for the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt with the same company.

Last year, I was fretting about this event in my blog posts about Henry IV part one and two because I couldn’t see Alex Hassell as king Henry V. Continue reading



Seen August 26 2015, Haydn English Cinema Vienna

Directed by Iqbal Khan

Firstly, apologies to my regular readers for the lack of new content recently. My day job made it impossible to find the time to write up a review of the last live broadcast, The Merchant of Venice. Not that there was much so say about it except for it relying too heavily on Patsy Ferran and Shylock being too smirkily knife-happy for my taste with no visible conflict, but festered rage and bitterness instead. Pity, this can be done so much better as proven by Graham Greene’s dignified Shylock in the other Stratford in 2007.

We went to London last weekend to see Three Days in the Country and Hamlet (yes, that one) however and I hope I can squeeze in a night at the theatre during a business trip to London in a few weeks, so there is new stuff coming up.

But now on to the next of the bard’s plays that can be problematic to stage nowadays: Othello. Let’s start with what we see first: Continue reading

Love’s Labour’s Lost

11 February, 2015
broadcast live from the Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon

by William Shakespeare

Cast: Sam Alexander, Peter Basham, William Belchambers, Edward Bennett, Nick Haverson, John Hodgkinson, David Horovitch, Tunji Kasim, Sophie Khan Levy, Oliver Lynes, Emma Manton, Chris McCalphy, Frances McNamee, Peter McGovern, Chris Nayak, Jamie Newall, Roderick Smith, Flora Spencer-Longhurst, Michelle Terry, Harry Waller, Thomas Wheatley, Leah Whitaker, featuring Teddy the Bear

directed by Christopher Luscombe

Continue reading

Antony and Cleopatra

By William Shakespeare
Seen June 1st, 2014 at The Globe

Cast: Eve Best, Clive Wood, Jolyon Coy, James Hayes, Rosie Hilal, Phil Daniels, Paul Hamilton, Peter Bankolé, Ignatius Anthony, Obioma Ugoala, Daniel Rabin, Philip Correia, Jonathan Bonnici, Sean Jackson, Ashley-Curtis Correya, Tim Dewberry, Jason Eddy, Sebastian Hill, Aaron Thiara, Sirine Saba, Kammy Darweish

Directed by: Jonathan Munby

I struggled quite a bit with what to write about this production.

The tickets were a birthday present from my sister after I filled in for someone on a trip with a group of her co-workers on short notice (lucky me) and it couldn’t have been a better way to end this sunny day.

The play was very entertaining, some parts extremely funny and it still had the gravitas it needed in the more serious scenes. Eve Best did not only make one of the male groundlings very happy, but if you ask me in ten years, she (and her ability to hold up poor deceased Antony until a very low flying plane was finally far enough for the audience to understand what she was trying to say in her grief) is very likely the only thing I am going to remember from this production.

Don’t get me wrong, it was very well performed by all involved and The Globe is always worth a visit, but as entertaining as it was, it didn’t stay in my head. I am still trying to decide if I liked the 2012 production of Elektra at the Stratford Festival (Canada), but it stayed with me and I remember a lot of it very clearly. Anthony and Cleopatra? Not so much.

As for visiting The Globe, I think there were several people in the audience that night that did have to think about the play for some time. A visiting group of students was led into the groundlings area when the play had already started and their ‘what the hell is going on here, we thought this was a theatre?!’ faces were hilarious.

The other ones were the French couple in front of us who were frantically trying to read the play at the same time as watching it. In case you are tempted to try that some time: not working.

If you are watching Shakespeare for the first time and are scared of not understanding everything, I would rather advise not to stress it. Just listen to the melody and even if you don’t know some of the words, you’ll instinctively understand what is being said.

Antony and Cleopatra is still on until 24 August. If you are looking for pure entertainment, go get yourself a ticket, it’s absolutely worth it (as is the view when you leave The Globe after the performance. A few teaser pics below.). If you want surprises in staging or thought-provoking new interpretation and the likes, you might want to check the theatre listings again.

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