You might be forgiven for thinking that only certain Shakespeare plays are allowed to be produced in any given 12-month period – for example, last year I saw five different Twelfth Nights, and this year there are at least three Macbeths already on my radar.
What is personally the most galling is the programming of Twelfth Night. Emma Rice’s production was my favourite show of 2017. It almost feels like they’re trying to brush it under the carpet by putting it on again so soon.
Any number of shows could have been included in this post; frankly it’s ludicrous that I decided to stick with my whole top 12 idea… As I’ve seen about 90 more individual shows than last year.
Despite a slow, measured start, I upped the pace after a while and (after today) will have somehow managed to see 212 different shows (my P.B.) – and 291 shows in total, equalling 2016.
Frankly, you can’t ignore the fact that every time you see it you get a free piece of chocolate. As long as you have the patience to wait for “le moment de magique” before you eat it.
“People who want ‘traditional’ Shakespeare – I don’t know what that is,” laughs Nick Bagnall. “I like to think if Shakespeare was here today he’d be using all he possibly could to be telling stories. When he was around, there was music, song, dance, audience interaction, all of it, he was always playing with theatre.”
On this Sunday’s Andrew Marr Show on BBC One, in amongst an interview with David Cameron and other reports from this year’s Conservative Party conference in Manchester, I was delighted to see Marr, perched in the circle at the West End’s Duke of York’s Theatre, chatting with actor Mark Rylance. Theatregoers know, of course, that Rylance has just opened in the West End in Farinelli and the King, written by his wife Claire van Kampen and transferred after a sell-out season earlier this year at the Globe’s indoor Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. But Rylance is also in the news, starring opposite Tom Hanks in Hollywood spy thriller Bridge of Spies, in which he was cast after causing an onscreen stir in Wolf Hall.
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