Most Shakespeare I see is performed with the actors’ genders matching that of the characters they play. Sometimes I see token cross-gender or gender-blind casting within an own-gender cast, sometimes all-male productions and less often, all-female productions (I wrote about the scarcity of all-female Shakespeare companies in the UK for The Shakespeare Standard last month). […]
Whilst visiting a Caribbean island about 100 years ago, Brutus Jones, an African American train driver, some how ends up emperor of the island’s native tribe. His reign is brutal, so Jones knows it will eventually end. Eugene O’Neill’s 1920 The Emperor Jones begins with Jones’ initially relaxed attempt at escape from the uprising citizens, and inevitable guilty descent into the madness of a Shakespearian villain. The script is entirely spoken by Jones, barring the first and last scenes, with his madness peppered with ghosts that won’t let him rest in the darkness of the island’s woods.
Reporting from Manchester, my guest contributor Glenn Meads recently met up with director-producer James Baker, who is making waves at The Kings Arms in Salford. Londoners, take note. Great theatre happens elsewhere too… James Baker’s CV Artistic director James Baker has been fundamental in developing The Kings Arms Theatre into a thriving fringe venue […]