For the first time in its history, a Royal Shakespeare Company production – The Winter’s Tale, directed by Erica Whyman – gets its world premiere on BBC television.
- The film adaptation of The Winter’s Tale will be screened on BBC Four in April, coinciding with the month of Shakespeare’s birthday.
Continue reading “News: BBC lights up the culture world with Lights Up”
The reliance on an all-white cast to tell Hogarth’s Progress is another mis-step from a Rose Theatre Kingston who should know better
“We’ve all had our share of bad reviews”
The oft-misquoted George Santayana once said “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” and taking a glance at Nick Dear’s Hogarth’s Progress, you can’t help but feel it is most apposite for the folks at the Rose Theatre Kingston. Once again, they’re tackling a slice of English history in a multi-play format and once again, they’re doing it with a lily-white cast – diversity be damned!
It’s a bit exhausting to go over the same arguments but they still hold true. The notion of historical verisimilitude holds no water, not least because Dear has talked about employing dramatic licence with history itself, but because once again we’re not talking about German actresses being employed to play Queen Caroline (it is Susannah Harker, with an accent). We’re talking about directors not trusting that audiences will accept actors of colour in such roles, but also not doing enough to challenge such audience-held perceptions. Continue reading “Review: Hogarth’s Progress, Rose Theatre Kingston”
The cast of Hogarth’s Progress include Ben Deery, Bryan Dick, Emma Cunniffe, Ian Hallard, Jack Derges, Jasmine Jones, Keith Allen, Mark Umbers, Ruby Bentall, Susannah Harker, and Sylvestra Le Touzel.
“In the end, who knows what is true?”
Nuffield’s commissioning of new writing that is connected to the area has long been impressive (I still remember The Saints most fondly) and continues with Nick Dear’s new play Dedication – Shakespeare and Southampton, their contribution to the Shakespeare400 celebrations. The Southampton here though is Henry Wriothesley, the 3rd Earl of Southampton, rather than the place and the subject of the play, a dramatised fantasia on what lengths to which their relationship might have entailed.
All we know for sure is that Shakespeare dedicated two narrative poems to him – Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece – and from these slim pickings, Dear imagines three competing, but not necessarily contradictory scenarios which are played out simultaneously. The patron in pursuit of artistic excellence or personal fame, the playwright seduced by the prospect of a bulging purse or simply the bulge in his pants. a pair of contemporaries locked together in swordplay or gay lovers dancing a pavane (great movement work from Siân Williams). Continue reading “Review: Dedication – Shakespeare and Southampton, Nuffield Southampton Theatres”
“No-one wants to be in calm waters all their life”
Anyone who has read this blog for a wee while will know I’m a sucker for a thesp-heavy cast but not even could have come up with the manifold delights of the ensemble for this 1995 version of Persuasion. Directed by Roger Michell and adapted by Nick Dear, it features Amanda Root and Ciarán Hinds as Anne Elliot and Frederick Wentworth, a once-engaged couple who were pulled apart by societal pressure as he was but a penniless seaman. Eight years later, Anne’s family is struggling to maintain their aristrocratic lifestyle due to overspending but Wentworth is now a captain and highly sought after – might their love be reunited after all? Watch this space…
Root and Hinds are both excellent with hugely subtle performances suggesting the depth of emotion each holds, unable to express how they truly feel and buffeted around a range of alternative marriage proposals as everyone tries to secure the best possible situation for themselves. But real pleasure comes too in the supporting performances, seeing such fantastic actors earlier in their career and tracing something of a journey in their acting careers. Continue reading “DVD Review: Persuasion (1995)”
Chiwetel Ejiofor, A Season in the Congo (Young Vic)
Rory Kinnear, Othello, National (Olivier)
Adrian Lester, Othello, National (Olivier)
NATASHA RICHARDSON AWARD FOR BEST ACTRESS
Linda Bassett, Roots (Donmar Warehouse)
Lesley Manville, Ghosts (Almeida)
Helen Mirren, The Audience (Gielgud)
Billie Piper, The Effect, National (Cottesloe)
Kristin Scott Thomas, Old Times (Harold Pinter) Continue reading “The 2013 London Evening Standard Theatre Awards”
(With huge apologies to all concerned, especially to Alfred Lord Tennyson, this is to be read to the rhythm of The Lady of Shalott)
“It doesn’t look like a poem, but it is”
‘Tis written by the man Nick Dear,
The thought it did fill me with fear,
made me feel queer,
With dialogue so dry.
Continue reading “Review: The Dark Earth and the Light Sky, Almeida Theatre”