This brand new English version of Pierre de Marivaux’s classic comedy The Game of Love and Chance, adapted by Quentin Beroud and Jack Gamble, takes great delight in modernising this almost 300-year-old French play. There is a knowingness to the adaptation that adds yet more comic layers to the wonderfully silly piece.
Returning to the RSC and the Barbican for The Merry Wives of Windsor after his triumph in Titus Andronicus last year is David Troughton as the drunken and self-proclaimed womaniser, Falstaff, his caricaturesque performance mirroring the cartoony nature of the plot, characters, script and direction.
Overall it is a beautiful re-telling of Macbeth, keeping true to the script but taking a twist on a unique element. Macbeth at the Barbican is not to be missed.
Despite a cast including Christopher Eccleston and Niamh Cusack, this proves another disappointment of a Macbeth as the RSC starts is autumn residency at the Barbican.
In contrast to Rufus Norris’ Macbeth at the National, with Rory Kinnear and Anne-Marie Duff, the RSC’s current production is focused and direct. This ensures that it is more of a success, but also proves its weakness. Polly Findlay’s production is certainly the more coherent and features strong leads.
Classic 1953 play by the English Chekhov is fascinating, but rather dated in its values and too clumsy in its production.
Based on Susan Hill’s novel of the same name, The Woman in Black is a chilling horror story that was adapted for the stage over 27 years ago. And yet, the late Stephen Mallatratt’s adaptation remains as poignant and terrifying as it has for many years.
As well as celebrating 27 years in London, PW Productions has announced that the show will be heading off on a UK tour from September 2016. The touring production will open at the Lichfield Garrick Theatre before visiting over thirty other theatres during its tour, running until June 2017.
The best theatre is controversial theatre, but some controversies just make you want to weep. Out of Joint theatre company has been touring Rebecca Lenkiewicz’s Jane Wenham: The Witch of Walkern (co-produced with Watford Palace Theatre and Arcola Theatre) since September last year. All was going well until the 13 October performance at Ipswich High School for Girls was cancelled by the venue “citing concerns over the play’s language”. Max Stafford-Clark, Out of Joint’s artistic director, said: “It is deeply troubling that a play which so eloquently examines witch persecutions from a feminist perspective, and looks at the way society treated and continues to treat women, is considered inappropriate for an audience of young women. The school has also said that the inclusion of swearing is inappropriate, a policy which presumably rules out much contemporary drama or fiction for study.” Indeed. But enough about the follies of our educators, what about the play?
Banned at Ipswich School for Girls last year for ‘inappropriate language’, Rebecca Lenkiewicz’s new play, Jane Wenham: The Witch of Walkern is certainly not the profanity-ridden, immoral cesspool the school made it out to be. Quite the opposite, really. With a cast of characters who are predominately female, this new play reads more like a GCSE English set text that’s a British version of The Crucible.
A fierce bleak play, this. Set in 1712 but, taking the wider world as it is, not un-topical: hangings, tortures, religion turned into a sour power-trip. Here are superstitious dreads and demonization of anyone different, whether homosexual, eccentric or just female.