(Mark Brown’s article appeared in the Telegraph,4/27.)
THE coming together of a great Shakespeare character and an equally great actor is a rare and memorable event. From Laurence Olivier's Henry V to Mark Rylance's Hamlet, such performances are the theatre's equivalent of a lunar eclipse.
One can now add to that illustrious list David Hayman's King Lear. After a more than 30–year absence, the revered Scottish actor returns to the Citizens Theatre Company he calls his "creative home" with a truly defining depiction of the hapless monarch
(Miriam Felton-Dansky’s article appeared 4/25 in the Village Voice.)
Towards the end of Festen—TR Warszawa’s elegant, bleak stage adaptation of the 1998 Thomas Vinterberg film—the character charged with keeping events running smoothly decides to throw in the towel. “Being master of ceremonies on a night like this is quite challenging,” he declares.
(Dominic Cavendish’s article appeared in the Telegraph, 4/23.)
As AA Milne so memorably put it, “King John was not a good man”. In Maria Aberg’s radical, flashy and defiantly feminising interpretation of Shakespeare’s under-loved history play, John – louche, insouciant and febrile in Alex Waldmann’s hypnotic, proto-Hamlety turn – remains a very poor male role model.
(Mike Collett-White's article is from Reuter's, 4/25.)
William Shakespeare may well have worked with contemporary playwright Thomas Middleton when creating "All's Well That Ends Well", Oxford academics believe, adding to evidence that the Bard collaborated frequently throughout his career.
A comedy of misrule and a trenchant attack on puritanism as disguise and deceit leads to misadventure, madness and mistaken love in one of Shakespeare's happiest plays. Orsino loves Olivia but she loves Cesario who really does love Orsino for Cesario is actually Viola. But Malvolio believes his mistress Olivia loves him as he is a victim of a trick played on him by those who would make him mad. Shakespeare unravels a comic knot and fashions a masterpiece.
Drama on 3 is featuring new productions of Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet and The Tempest as part of the BBC's Shakespeare Unlocked season. The first two plays, which reflect upon Shakespeare and love are performed by a company of actors including David Tennant and Rosie Cavaliero who won best actor and best actress respectively at the recent Audio Drama Awards. Essays on Shakespeare and Love can be heard all next week on Radio 3 at 2245
Viola/Cesario ….. Naomi Frederick. Sebastian ….. Trystan Gravelle. Sea Captain ….. Gerard McDermott. Orsino ….. Paul Ready. Valentine ….. Harry Livingstone. Maria ….. Rosie Cavaliero. Sir Toby Belch ….. Ron Cook. Sir Andrew Aguecheek ….. Adam James. Olivia ….. Vanessa Kirby. Feste ….. James Lailey. Malvolio …. David Tennant. Fabian ….. Don Gilet. Antonio ….. Peter Hamilton Dyer.
Music composed by Roger Goula. Directed by Sally Avens.
(Andrew Dickson’s article appeared in the Guardian, 4/23.)
No one could accuse Shakespeare's Globe of lacking nerve. Not only does their contribution to the World Shakespeare festival include almost every work in the canon, each in a different language (from Juba Arabic to British Sign Language), but they've elected to open proceedings with a play few would honestly choose as their favourite.
Manhattan Theatre Club stages David Auburn’s play about the mid-century political writer Joseph Alsop, starring John Lithgow, Margaret Colin, Boyd Gaines, Stephen Kunken, Brian J. Smith, and Grace Gummer. Daniel Sullivan directs. Opens April 25. (Samuel J. Friedman, 261 W. 47th St. 212-239-6200.)
DON’T DRESS FOR DINNER
The Roundabout presents a new comedy by Marc Camoletti (“Boeing-Boeing”), about a web of infidelity among a husband, his wife, his mistress, and his visiting friend. Starring Ben Daniels, Patricia Kalember, Adam James, and Jennifer Tilly; John Tillinger directs. In previews. Opens April 26. (American Airlines Theatre, 227 W. 42nd St. 212-719-1300.)
AN EARLY HISTORY OF FIRE
The New Group presents a drama by David Rabe, set in the early nineteen-sixties, about a young Midwestern man who must choose between small-town life and a college girl’s wider world. Jo Bonney directs. In previews. Opens April 30. (Acorn, 410 W. 42nd St. 212-239-6200.)
LEAP OF FAITH
Raúl Esparza stars in a new musical, based on the 1992 film, in which a con artist impersonating a minister swindles the people of a small Kansas town. With music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Glenn Slater, and a book by Janus Cercone and Warren Leight; Christopher Ashley directs. In previews. Opens April 26. (St. James, 246 W. 44th St. 212-239-6200.)
LONELY, I’M NOT
Second Stage presents this comedy by Paul Weitz, in which a divorced millionaire (Topher Grace), recovering from a nervous breakdown, meets a young businesswoman (Olivia Thirlby). Trip Cullman directs. In previews. (305 W. 43rd St. 212-246-4422.)
(Michael Billington’s article appeared in the Guardian, 4/22.)
As someone who hasn't read Jung Chang's memoir, I came to this stage version with an open mind. I was bowled over by Sacha Wares's production, jointly presented by the Young Vic, American Repertory Theatre and Actors Touring Company as part of the World Stages season, and I was much moved by a story that views Maoist China through the prism of one family's experiences.