Ever behind the curve, I present 10 of my top moments in a theatre over the last ten years (plus a few bonus extra ones because whittling down this list was hard, and it will probably be different tomorrow anyway!).
The Royal Shakespeare Company has announced its schedule for summer 2020, a season of Shakespeare plays exploring separation, loss and deep bonds of family.
Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex has made her first official visit to the National Theatre. Earlier this month The Duchess was announced as Patron of the National Theatre, one of two Patronages passed on to her by The Queen.
On the broader theatrical landscape, there are plenty of things opening this month! In London Eugenius! returns to The Other Palace, Milly Thomas’ Dust transfers to Trafalgar Studios 2, and Foxfinder opens at the Ambassadors.
What is a national theatre for? You’d be forgiven for answering ‘complaining about’ given the amount of sniping regularly aimed at the institution. But with the launch of Public Acts, the National Theatre’s new national initiative, you feel that they’ve alighted on the answer.
Details have been released of the National Theatre’s season from May to September 2018. Highlights include the Uk premiere of Hadestown, with music, lyrics and book by Anaïs Mitchell, the return of Follies and Patrick Marber’s new version of Eugène Ionesco’s Exit the King.
For what Donnellan accomplishes with classical text, here so often revered and dogmatically adhered to, still makes Pericles worthy of praise.
Cheek by Jowl’s production of Pericles is engaging and passionately performed but can get a little bit lost in translation…
Cecile Leterme is currently starring in Cheek by Jowl’s production of Pericles which play at London’s Barbican until 21 April. She spoke to Love London Love Culture about what to expect from the production….
Another flickering evening in the candlelight of the Globe’s Jacobean theatre: engrossing, melodramatic, comic, epic. Ben Jonson was disparaging about Pericles – c “a mouldy tale” . And even compared to A Winter’s Tale with its “gap of time” in the interval, this is diffuse and episodic. Pericles, Prince of Tyre, ricochets round the ancient Mediterranean and Aegean between kingdoms: fleeing for his life from the incestuous riddling Antiochus, saving a land from famine, being shipwrecked, finding his armour washed up and winning a fight , marrying Thaisa, losing her in childbirth in a storm at sea, casting her coffin adrift, enduring his daughter’s apparent death while he sails home to duty, roaming long years in his grief, growing his hair till he resembles Ben Gunn.
Exciting news from Shakespeare’s Globe as they bid farewell to Artistic Director Dominic Dromgoole with a winter season that brings together the plays thought to have been written by Shakespeare for indoor theatre and plays them out on the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse stage. Read on for full details…
Shakespeare’s Globe is delighted to announce Dominic Dromgoole’s final season as Artistic Director. For the first time, the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse will host Shakespeare as part of the main season. Pericles, Cymbeline, The Winter’s Tale and The Tempest will play in the candlelit indoor theatre between November 2015 and April 2016. Multi award-winning actress Eileen Atkins will also return with her critically-acclaimed Ellen Terry with Eileen Atkins in January and February 2016.
These four plays, written by Shakespeare to exploit the potential of the Blackfriars, the indoor playhouse his company made their winter home in 1609, share a host of thematic links and a delight in using the technical and imaginative possibilities of the indoor theatres.
Opening the season of candlelit Shakespeares on 19 November, Pericles sets out an adventurous tale of the heroic Pericles’ escape from assassination on discovering incest at the heart of the Kingdom of Antioch. Pericles harks back to some of Shakespeare’s earlier work, with a plot fuelled by mistaken identity and families fragmented by shipwrecks.
From 2 December, Cymbeline charts the virtuous Imogen, daughter of the British king Cymbeline, journeying from England to Wales disguised as a boy, in search of her lowborn and exiled husband, Posthumus. The eclectic plot sees Imogen’s struggle to maintain integrity throughout the play to its eventual romantic resolution.
Running from 28 January to 22 April, The Winter’s Tale tells of how King Leontes loses his wife and newborn daughter through his furious yet baseless jealousy. A long journey through time and across borders eventually effects an astonishing and redemptive resolution. Boasting the most famous stage direction in history, ‘Exit, pursued by a bear’, this is one of Shakespeare’s most imaginative, troubling and delightful plays.
The Tempest will be directed by Dominic Dromgoole. Running from 17 February, it will be his final production as Artistic Director. Prior to his appointment in 2006, Dominic was Artistic Director of the Bush Theatre, Director of New Writing at the Old Vic and Artistic Director of the Oxford Stage Company (now Headlong). The upcoming Measure for Measure (opening 20 June) will be his final show for the Globe Theatre. Taking place on a deserted island populated by the spirits and witches, as well as the banished duke Prospero and his effervescent daughter Miranda, The Tempest is considered by many to be Shakespeare’s personal farewell to the stage.
From 11 January, Dame Eileen Atkins returns to the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse with her much-celebrated Ellen Terry with Eileen Atkins. Having offered the first performance of Shakespeare in the Playhouse, she will once again take to the stage to perform her adaptation of Ellen Terry’s Four Lectures on Shakespeare. Dubbed a ‘remarkable evening’ by The Guardian, the adaptation created by Eileen sees her perform a dozen parts – from Viola to Volumnia. Her extensive credits for film and television include Cranford, for which she won both a BAFTA and an Emmy, Upstairs, Downstairs and Gosford Park. Her most recent stage appearance was the lead role in the RSC’s The Witch of Edmonton, and her other stage credits include Mrs Rooney in a critically-acclaimed production of Beckett’s All That Fall with Michael Gambon at the Jermyn Street Theatre, and subsequently in the West End.
Phone +44 (0) 20 7401 9919
In person Mon-Sat 10am-6pm (8pm on performance days)
Sundays 10am-5pm (7pm on performance days)
Tickets £5 – £43 (Globe Theatre) £10 – £60 (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse)