Henry IV Part 1 is a fast-paced, fun production that speaks to our politically unstable times – a great way to start the new season.
There have been a number of plays that have dealt with the importance of ‘art’ and what the viewer brings to its ‘meaning’. Sitting – which is written by Katherine Parkinson and directed by Sarah Bedi – takes a different tact, focusing on the relationship the ‘sitter’ has with the person painting them.
Katherine Parkinson was not a surprising choice for the joint venture by Avalon and BBC Arts whereby seasoned creatives were sponsored to write for the stage. Although her script for Sitting was the only actually successful project, seen last year on the Edinburgh Fringe and now refreshed and revived at the Arcola.
Shakespeare’s Globe has announced its summer season 2019. The celebration and interrogation of ‘our sceptred isle’ through Shakespeare’s history plays continues with Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, and Henry V, while elsewhere there is A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Ben Jonson’s Bartholomew Fair, and the return of 2018’s As You Like It.
We started with some intense r&d on Strindberg’s play, and found a surprisingly modern 1901 existentialist piece. Some research into the interpretation of dreams via Freud and Jung followed, as well as revisiting some pop culture touchstones in terms of dreams and the unreal: Charlie Kaufman, David Lynch, and the film, The Lobster.