Reviews

The Limbs of This Great Sport

STRATFORD, ON— The fate of Shakespeare and Fletcher’s late history Henry VIII has been tumultuous, to say the least.  Cannon fire from the first production burned down the original Globe Theatre in 1613.  Defying augury, the new Globe Theatre mounted a respectable but ultimately forgettable revival in 2010.  Popular in the eighteenth and nineteenth century, […]

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Reviews

I Spy Entertainment in Her

STRATFORD, ON—The Merry Wives of Windsor is an exercise in controlled chaos. Jam-packed with a cast of parsons, physicians, gentleman, and mistresses (rather than ladies), the stage explodes with personalities of all types. At the center of this chaos are the mischievous Mistresses Alice Ford (Sophia Walker) and Anne Page (Brigit Wilson), who have decided […]

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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

Anger’s My Meat—I Sup upon Myself

Coriolanus (Jonathan Cake) is Shakespeare’s most baffling protagonist, an ornery Roman general who seethes with contempt for both the political elite and the commoners. After the conquest of a Volscian city, Coriolanus returns home and briefly runs for consul. But he refuses to participate in symbolic gestures of respect for the plebeians and is summarily […]

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Reviews

A Bird of My Tongue Is Better than a Beast of Yours

Much Ado About Nothing is a lighter Shakespeare play, in part because the love-lorn pair, Beatrice (Danielle Brooks) and Benedick (Grantham Coleman), have no parents and in part because its villain, Don John (Hubert Point-Du Jour), never poses much of a threat. He lies with the Machiavellianism but not the talent of Iago. Still, Much […]

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Reviews

The Cry of Women, My Good Lord

In Erica Schmidt’s adaptation, Mac Beth, a group of girls meet in an abandoned field to perform Shakespeare’s play. Very little of the text has been changed, but the staging is appropriately makeshift: the girls munch on Cheetos. Messages are sent via pink-encased iPhones. And Macbeth bears a felt crown complete with a candied ring […]

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Reviews

Only We Shall Retain the Name

Perhaps this production of King Lear was never going to live up to the story: after twenty-three years in Parliament, Glenda Jackson returned to acting with the most challenging Shakespearean role, typically reserved for actors of her caliber as a final achievement, one that spawns nostalgic reflections on a career that began with an historic performance […]

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