When you see around 200 different shows, you’re bound to come across a few duff ones, but I’m pleased to say that nearly all of the bad shows I saw can be found in this post.
The first thing to know about Troilus and Cressida is that it’s not really about Troilus and Cressida. Or at least not just about them. Based on the Iliad, the play picks up the story of the Trojan Wars seven years in, where we find the Greeks fighting amongst themselves because their leader Agamemnon’s stolen a war prisoner from their star warrior Achilles.
Cross-gender and gender blind casting goes a long way to fight the pervasive gender inequality in theatre. With male characters dominating Elizabethan and Jacobean theatre, these casting approaches, along with all-female productions, are the only way to work towards achieving equality in classical productions. At the Rose Playhouse, director Peter Darney of Em-Lou Productions takes […]
The Rose, the tiny fringe theatre built on the remains of its Elizabethan original, is one of the most unique theatres in London. It has its issues, though. Rather than the hierarchy with an artistic director at the top, it is managed by a team of artistic associates, all volunteers. Due to the lack of an individual’s clear programming vision, the productions here are hit and miss. Their current production of Hamlet, though it has a few moments of invention and effectiveness, largely misses the mark due to poor performances and a huge reduction in length, which hacks the dramatic arc and character journeys to bits.
Shakespeare liked to play around with ideas of male and female. From cross-dressing to multiple identities, appearances are never quite what they seem on his stage. So it’s fitting then, that Natasha Rickman decided to run a little gender experiment. Each night, the cast take on either a role of their own gender, or the opposite. Add to that, the cast jump between different parts as the show goes on, sometimes within the same scene. All in all, in order to make it an effective performance, the acting needs to be impressive in order to break down the walls of believability to make the audience buy into the shifting identities of the people before us. And they do.