Shakespeare Reviews

We now have 7 years of Shakespeare reviews on this site – so many it can be hard to find what you’re looking for. I’ve done this handy guide to them all so you can follow the links below to any RSC production over the period. Where there has been more than one production of a particular play, they are listed separately and the date given. I’ll try to keep it updated annually.

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Greg Hicks is at the heart and soul of the current RSC ensemble who are gathered to perform a number of Shakespeare’s classic works at the Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon. The ensemble began its work last year and will continue to work together until 2011 – although rumour has it that Hicks will leave early.

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Et Tu, Brute?

Julius Caesar
The Courtyard Theatre, Stratford
3rd September 2009

Tonight, I watched David Troughton in a repeat of the BBC light drama, New Tricks. Troughton is an actor with a distinguished Shakespearean pedigree and he carried off the TV role with aplomb and class.

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Winter in Summer

The Winters Tale
RSC at the Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-Upon-Avon
23rd July 2009

The RSC have put together a new ensemble which will work on a number of productions between now and 2011. If these first fruits are anything to go by, it promises to be a very good run indeed.

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As We Like It!

Royal Shakespeare Company
The Courtyard Theatre, Stratford Upon Avon

As You Like It
23rd of April 2009

In 2007, Neil Bartlett directed a version of “Twelfth Night” for the RSC which held tightly together in the first half of the performance but tended to be more unwieldy after the interval as the drama led us out into countryside celebrations and a hippy-chic interpretation of some of the songs in the second half. It was bright, colourful but a little too flamboyant for its own good. Watching Michael Boyd’s take on “As You Like It” at the Courtyard in Stratford-Upon-Avon, I began to wonder if this production was going to fall into the same problems. Tight and precisely directed in the city action of the first scenes, a little too wild in places as the action transferred to the forest in later scenes.

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A Heavy-Handed and Stormy Tempest

Thursday Night, 12 March 2009
The Tempest by William Shakespeare
RSC Courtyard Theatre, Stratford

Another night with the RSC and another lesson in handling Shakespeare when the director wants to “discover” a flavour of a modern theme in the midst of the script. Janice Honeyman believes that The Tempest will speak powerfully to the world of European Colonialism and African slavery. I believe that her direction and the text’s natural moral direction are at odds with each other and that her insistence on making this idea central to the production may have swamped the play just as badly as Alonso’s ship is swamped by Prospero’s magic.

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Love’s Labour’s Lost
Courtyard Theatre

30th October 2008

I keep wanting to say that is an ordinary production….. but that isn’t true. In fact, in many ways, the production is extraordinary. The stage design, the colours, the movement are all of a very high standard indeed. I don’t even get to say that David Tennant was either extremely good or extremely bad. His performance as Berowne is run-of-the-mill, no better, no worse, albeit very good in parts.

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