Reviews

Is Not This Man Jealous?

STRATFORD, ON—The play bears Othello’s (Michael Blake) name, but the tragedy really belongs to Iago (Gordon S. Miller), who has seven soliloquies to Othello’s two. This nihilistic, black hole of a character falls on the far end of Shakespeare’s conception of evil, a natural endpoint after Aaron the Moor and Richard III. No production can […]

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Reviews

All the Children Are Insane

STRATFORD, ON—There is a clean, bare, and muted look to Daniel Brooks’ modernized staging of Oedipus Rex.  The cast dresses in simple, businesslike attire.  Oedipus (Gord Rand) himself often sits at a simple metal desk.  The stage is flanked by unoccupied watchtowers and floodlights.  The chorus, rather than speaking their lines in unison, take turns at […]

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Reviews

Things Dying and Newborn

When Peter Francis James, who plays Leontes in the Pearl’s current revival of The Winter’s Tale, says the word “issue,” he pronounces it as if the first syllable rhymed with with piss instead of dish.  Or, perhaps more appropriately, as if it rhymed with hiss.  Thus, he virtually spits at Antigonus (Dominic Cuskern) of the child he presumes to be […]

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Reviews

Kissing and Killing

When Odysseus returned to Penelope, he seemed so comfortable in violent spaces, so uncomfortable in domestic ones, that his first action was not to bed his wife but to behead all her suitors.  Something similar is happening in Othello, where a great general (Keldrick Crowder) can protect Cypress from Turkish invasion (albeit with some help […]

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Reviews

I Am Not That I Play

It seems appropriate to begin Women of Will, a personal exploration of gender, sex, and power in Shakespeare, with an excerpt from The Taming of the Shrew.  But despite a lifetime of working with the Bard, Tina Packer, the show’s creator and star, gets the play thoroughly wrong.  She jokes that as a “card-carrying feminist,” […]

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