Archive by Author

‘King Lear’ for Young People?

In one of his last interviews before standing down as artistic director of the RSC Sir Michael Boyd said of the RSC’s Education Department, ‘in some ways that’s our avant garde’. Inviting Paul Hunter of Told By An Idiot to direct the Young People’s Shakespeare 2010 production of The Comedy Of Errors and the writer, performer and […]

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Subsidised Shakespeare

In 2011/12 the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) was the Arts Council’s fifth highest regularly funded organisation (RFO) with a grant of £16,413,895 (down from £17,639,392 the previous year) behind The Royal Opera House, Southbank Centre, National Theatre and English National Opera. These top five organisations account for a third of the Arts Council’s total RFO […]

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Is Troilus And Cressida as bad as everyone says?

If some of the reviews are to believed, and if the number of walk-outs is an indication, the RSC/Wooster Group’s collaboration on Troilus And Cressida is pretty bad. In his two star review in The Guardian Michael Billington called it a ‘bizarrely disjointed spectacle [which] does nothing to enhance our understanding of the play’, Heather […]

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Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing

For film-goers, cult TV fans and Shakespeare lovers, the big movie premiere next month will be Joss Whedon’s black and white, shot in a fortnight, self-financed film of Much Ado About Nothing at the Toronto International Film Festival in Canada. Whedon launched his career as a scriptwriter with the 1992 film, Buffy The Vampire Slayer […]

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Shakespeare in Edinburgh 2012

With the cultural Olympiad well under way in London, attention shifts in August to the Athens of the North and the Edinburgh Festival where, as usual, Shakespeare features in both the official festival and the fringe. The Edinburgh International Festival (EIF) has concert performances of Mendelssohn’s music for A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Camille O’Sullivan’s part-sung, part-spoken The […]

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What’s wrong with all-male Shakespeare?

There have been murmurs of disquiet for a while about all-male Shakespeare. Jenni Tomlin said on the Social Justice First website that it, ‘serves to highlight our deep history of sexism and inequality‘ while Jo Caird at worries about how it denies work to women, ‘given the chronic underrepresentation of women on the British […]

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A post-colonial view of Julius Caesar.

I was moved to write this blog when I read Anjna’s thoughts on the play in her recent post. Gregory Doran’s production of Julius Caesar received five star reviews in The Sunday Times and The Independent on Sunday and four stars almost everywhere else. The cast is fantastic, the design is brilliant and the production […]

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Queering Shakespeare

In 2007 Neil Bartlett directed a production of Twelfth Night at the RSC in which Viola was played by a man, Chris New, and Sir Toby Belch, Andrew Aguecheek and Fabian were played by women; Marjorie Yates, Annabel Leventon and Joanne Howarth respectively. The production divided critics and audiences, Michael Billington in The Guardian thought […]

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Do we really like Shakespeare?

I recently read Erin Sullivan’s fascinating article, Anti-Bardolatory Through The Ages – or, Why Voltaire, Tolstoy, Shaw And Wittgenstein Didn’t Like Shakespeare. We’re so used to the idea that everyone admires Shakespeare that it feels quite transgressive to read about famous people who didn’t like him and were happy to explain why. Their criticisms fall […]

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