Reviews

Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out

As far as we know, Timon of Athens was never staged in Shakespeare’s lifetime. It is rarely staged in ours. In terms of genre, it is akin to his late romances, beginning as a Ben-Jonson-style comedy and ending in Lear-like tragedy. As with Pericles and Two Noble Kinsman, it is a collaboration, and here the […]

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Reviews

A Smooth and All-Able Pen

Many of the pleasures of seeing a complete Henriad are expected.  We witness the full transformation of the bawdy Prince Hal (Alex Hassell), in whom his father once saw “riot and dishonour stain the brow,” into King Henry V, capable of such rousing rhetoric as the St. Crispian’s Day Speech.  We watch old Jack Falstaff, the endlessly charismatic […]

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Reviews

Presume Not That I Am the Thing I Was

Rumour (Antony Byrne), a force responsible for “Stuffing the ears of men with false reports,” enters to address the audience.  He means to “noise abroad that Harry Monmouth fell / Under the wrath of noble Hotspur’s sword.”  Typically “painted full of tongues,” this Rumour bears a t-shirt with Rolling Stones logo, a clever if somewhat irrelevant touch.  Henry […]

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Reviews

I’ll Play My Father

Henry IV (an appropriately weary Jasper Britton), who had planned to alleviate his guilt over the death of Richard II with a voyage to Jerusalem (“I’ll make a voyage to the Holy Land, / To wash this blood off from my guilty hand”), soon finds his kingdom internally divided: unrest in Scotland and Wales, rebellion from […]

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Reviews

The Landlord of England

A coffin rests center stage.  In Shakespeare’s text, Richard II begins with the eponymous king (David Tennant) sitting upon his throne and arbitrating a dispute between Henry Bolingbroke (Jasper Britton) and Thomas Mowbray (Christopher Middleton), the former accusing the latter of participating in the successful assassination of the Duke of Gloucester, the king’s uncle.  However, in […]

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Reviews

Unarming Troilus

I am not a Shakespearean purist.  There is nothing inherently wrong with, say, relocating The Merchant of Venice to present-day Las Vegas, with handing Macbeth a machine gun, or with reading The Tempest and deciding it should look like this.  But the ideas should always be generated by the text instead of imposed onto them.  The problem […]

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