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‘This triumph features the sort of originality Joan would have approved of’: MISS LITTLEWOOD – Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon ★★★★★

In Musicals, Opinion, Regional theatre, Reviews by Anne CoxLeave a Comment

Not everyone knows who Joan Littlewood was but by the end of Sam Kenyon’s enthralling biographic musical, Miss Littlewood, we’re closer to understanding what drove this maverick director, who was to be known as The Mother of Modern Theatre, to create innovative, controversial agitprop theatre.

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‘A masterclass for fearlessly funny women’: THE FANTASTIC FOLLIES OF MRS RICH – Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon ★★★★

In Opinion, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews by Libby PurvesLeave a Comment

The RSC’s artistic director Gregory Doran has a kindly sense of balance, so the dourly modern, blokey, bleak and inevitably joyless Macbeth just down the corridor is offset by The Fantastic Follies of Mrs Rich, a merry bit of Restoration fluff and female scorn, by the largely forgotten 17the century writer Mary Pix. Good move, Mr D.

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NEWS: Katie Leung stars in RSC’s updated Chinese classic Snow in Midsummer

In London theatre, Native, News, Plays, Press Releases, Regional theatre by Press ReleasesLeave a Comment

Katie Leung stars in the world premiere of Snow in Midsummer, a contemporary re-imagining of Guan Hanqing’s Chinese classic drama by the playwright, Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig, and directed by Justin Audibert. It runs at the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon from 23 February to 25 March 2017, with a press night on 2 March.

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NEWS: RSC announces Winter 2016 season, marks Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary

In Native, News, Press Releases, Quotes, Regional theatre by Press ReleasesLeave a Comment

The Royal Shakespeare Company has announced its winter 2016 season, marking Shakespeare’s 400 anniversary with seven productions in its Stratford-upon-Avon home, including three productions in the Swan Theatre, which itself celebrates its 30th anniversary. Overview ROYAL SHAKESPEARE THEATRE King Lear directed by Gregory Doran, with Antony Sher in the title role, David Troughton as Gloucester and Paapa Essiedu as Edmund …

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LOVE FOR LOVE – RSC, Stratford

In Opinion, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews by Libby PurvesLeave a Comment

There’s a bustle of backstage larking before the curtain, cast dashing around in shirtsleeves, manoeuvring a hamper , getting stuck in ropes and tripping over a life-size model crocodile. So get in your seat early. Especially if you want a random hug from Mr Scandal (Robert Cavanah) or to be picked on to represent Queen Anne with a polystyrene crown from the gift shop plonked on your head (the Queen, it seems, saw Congreve’s play on her 32nd birthday, in 1697).

NEWS: RSC Announce Full Cast for Hecuba

In News, Plays, Regional theatre by Matt MerrittLeave a Comment

Full casting is announced for the Swan Theatre production of Marina Carr’s new play based on the epic tale of Hecuba, directed by RSC Deputy Artistic Director Erica Whyman with Derbhle Crotty in the title role, opening on Thursday 24 September 2015.  

Derbhle Crotty returns to the RSC to play Hecuba, having previously played Lady Macbeth and Lady Duncan in the 2007 repertory season ofMacbeth and Ionesco’s Macbett. Derbhle is currently playing Bolingbroke/Henry IV in DruidShakespeare, which has played various venues in Ireland, New York and at the Kilkenny Festival. She is known for her film roles in Notes on a Scandal (2006), Rory O’Shea Was Here (2004) andNoble (2014).

Also returning is RSC Associate Artist Ray Fearon as Agamemnon, who has worked extensively with the RSC, most recently as Mark Antony inJulius Caesar and as the title role in Othello (1999). His recent theatre credits include playing Macduff in Macbeth at the Manchester International Festival; Ray also appeared in the 2006 series of Strictly Come Dancing. Joining him is Edmund Kingsley who plays Polymestor. Edmund can currently be seen in the BBC 2 mini-series Life in Squares as John Maynard Keynes. His RSC credits include Antony and Cleopatra, Julius Caesar and The Tempest, as part of the Complete Works Festival, Richard III, King John and Lord of the Flies. His film credits include Hugo (2011) and Stonehearst Asylum (2014).

The full cast includes: Nadia Albina (Cassandra); David Ajao (Nepotolemus); Derbhle Crotty (Hecuba); Ray Fearon (Agamemnon); Edmund Kingsley (Polymestor); Amy McAllister (Polyxena); Chu Omambala (Odysseus) and Lara Stubbs (Hecuba’s Woman).

Hecuba is designed by Soutra Gilmour with lighting by Charles Balfour. The music is composed by Isobel Waller-Bridge with sound byAndrew Franks. Movement is by Ayse Tashkiran.

NEWS: RSC Announce Full Cast for Hecuba

In News, Plays, Regional theatre by Matt MerrittLeave a Comment

Full casting is announced for the Swan Theatre production of Marina Carr’s new play based on the epic tale of Hecuba, directed by RSC Deputy Artistic Director Erica Whyman with Derbhle Crotty in the title role, opening on Thursday 24 September 2015.  

Derbhle Crotty returns to the RSC to play Hecuba, having previously played Lady Macbeth and Lady Duncan in the 2007 repertory season ofMacbeth and Ionesco’s Macbett. Derbhle is currently playing Bolingbroke/Henry IV in DruidShakespeare, which has played various venues in Ireland, New York and at the Kilkenny Festival. She is known for her film roles in Notes on a Scandal (2006), Rory O’Shea Was Here (2004) andNoble (2014).

Also returning is RSC Associate Artist Ray Fearon as Agamemnon, who has worked extensively with the RSC, most recently as Mark Antony inJulius Caesar and as the title role in Othello (1999). His recent theatre credits include playing Macduff in Macbeth at the Manchester International Festival; Ray also appeared in the 2006 series of Strictly Come Dancing. Joining him is Edmund Kingsley who plays Polymestor. Edmund can currently be seen in the BBC 2 mini-series Life in Squares as John Maynard Keynes. His RSC credits include Antony and Cleopatra, Julius Caesar and The Tempest, as part of the Complete Works Festival, Richard III, King John and Lord of the Flies. His film credits include Hugo (2011) and Stonehearst Asylum (2014).

The full cast includes: Nadia Albina (Cassandra); David Ajao (Nepotolemus); Derbhle Crotty (Hecuba); Ray Fearon (Agamemnon); Edmund Kingsley (Polymestor); Amy McAllister (Polyxena); Chu Omambala (Odysseus) and Lara Stubbs (Hecuba’s Woman).

Hecuba is designed by Soutra Gilmour with lighting by Charles Balfour. The music is composed by Isobel Waller-Bridge with sound byAndrew Franks. Movement is by Ayse Tashkiran.

VOLPONE – Stratford-upon-Avon

In Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews by Jonathan BazLeave a Comment

Trevor Nunn’s production of Volpone at the RSC’s Swan sagely contends that the sins of greed and avarice are timeless. With Ben Jonson’s 17th century comedy set squarely in a modern Venice, if some of Ranjit Bolt’s occasional script revisions are schoolboy clumsy (silly references to Greece and the Euro pop up), they can be forgiven in a plot in which incredible complexities may not have weathered the test of time as much as the brilliant observation of the flawed human condition that makes this play so entertaining.