Sensible to Feeling as to Sight

What: Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Who: Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC)

Where: Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-Upon-Avon

When: 20th March 2018

When a familiar play opens and you see characters normally associated with adults being played by pre-teen girls, it is difficult to stifle an inward groan. But, in actuality, this production of Macbeth is very strong indeed and is one which you should hunt for tickets for. It really does have an awful lot to commend it. This is a taut, energetic production with some exceptional acting.

Continue reading

I Understand A Fury In Your Words. But Not The Words.

What: Othello by William Shakespeare

Where: Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-Upon-Avon

When: 11th June 2015

“We’ve tried to make it less ridiculous, so we’ve cut some lines… which leaves us open to the accusation that by doing so we have made it less sublime – we’ve cut some of the music of Othello”.

– Hugh Quashie (Othello) in conversation with the Stratford-Upon-Avon Herald.

It is indeed interesting when the principal actor in a Shakespeare production describes the plotline of one of the Bard’s plays as being ridiculous – so ridiculous that it is worth spoiling the rhythm and rhyme of the play to correct. One might even consider this a kind of arrogance.

Continue reading

…I was born to speak all mirth and no matter…

What: Much Ado About Nothing (promoted as “Love’s Labour’s Won”) by William Shakespeare

Where: Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-Upon-Avon

When: 20th November 2014

So I was back in Stratford-Upon-Avon for the second half of this strange coupling that Gregory Doran is determined to promote as “Love’s Labour’s Lost” and “Love’s Labour’s Won”. In reality, as I suggested in my earlier review these two plays share no common ground other than their humorous tone and those imposed by the director’s decision-making.

Continue reading

From Women’s Eyes This Doctrine I Derive

What: Love’s Labour’s Lost by William Shakespeare

Where: Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-Upon-Avon

When: 23rd October 2014

Gregory Doran, the new artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare company, has barely put a foot wrong since he took over the role – and it has to be said that prior to the new appointment there had been a certain loss of direction. But in this new production, which I think is very solid and good, he seems to have based some of his thinking about it on a doubtful premise.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading


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.

Continue reading

William, it was really nothing…….

Tomorrow is the first part of my two-legged consideration of David Tennant’s role in the works of William Shakespeare. Any one who reads this journal on a regular basis (there must be someone!) will know that I’m pretty committed to the RSC and try to take in all of their productions. So Thursday, I journey to Stratford-Upon-Avon to see the latest production of the rather slight "Love’s Labours Lost". Then in December on its London transfer I have the rather more substantial "Hamlet". Anyone who follows the papers (tabloid or broadsheet) will know that the good Doctor takes the lead in these two – indeed in Hamlet, he is paired with that other star-crossed traveller, Patrick Stewart. Don’t know what I think about this. I’m not keen on the RSC doing productions where the lead actor outranks the play – even before its opened. When Patrick Stewart works with the RSC normally it barely raises a ripple of interest unless the production is really good so this is obviously about Tennant. I hope by the time I return on Friday, he will have done Shakespeare proud……..