Measure for Measure (3)

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Who will believe thee, Isabelle?

Bear with me, gentle reader, as I try to do something a little different in this review of the Donmar Warehouse production of Measure for Measure. You can take it as read that the staging, lighting, music and so on were all as excellent as you might expect, and I’ll probably get to the performances in due course. But this production was clearly designed to make a bold statement about gender and power imbalances, and that’s an area in which it is impossible as a woman not have an interest.

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Much Ado About Nothing

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Antic Disposition – Grays Inn Hall

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Photograph by Scott Rylander

Ah Much Ado. This was my fifth production in five years and it was every bit as enjoyable as all the others – no sign of fun-fatigue in the same way I think I might be getting misery-and-ambition fatigue (and still one more Macbeth to go this year, oh Lord!)

This was an Antic Disposition production in Grays Inn Hall, with an Anglo-French flavour similar to Henry V but luckily not at all harrowing. It was WW2, rather than WW1, which definitely helps.  Messina was a town square, complete with bunting and tables (and an onstage bar which sold drinks – but only during the interval!). We saw the first night which came with the minor additional excitement of power cuts taking out the stage lights, and we were sat at a table in the bar, right in the action.

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Othello (3)

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Shakespeare’s Globe

I was back at the Globe for the hottest day of the year thus far, a strange contrast with the first Othello I saw, back on a damp and mizzy February day – the only link being that both were in Shakespearean venues. It was also my first time standing since the raising (and re-lowering) of the stage, and I’m happy to say that hanging off the edge is as glorious an experience as it used to be.

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Two Noble Kinsmen

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Shakespeare’s Globe

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The Two Noble Kinsmen has a plot ripped from the Middle Ages* which is really quite challenging to stomach in the modern world – and luckily this production does not attempt to force us to do so. What we have instead is exactly the kind of frolicsome action that the Globe really excels at – the audience had a blast and I reckon the cast did too…

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Macbeth (3)

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National TheatreI’m afraid this production has been widely panned by the critics (there’s a handy round-up here) and my comments are not massively going to buck the trend. And even worse, this is likely to be a kitchen sink review – throwing as many different thoughts together as the production team apparently did…

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Photo by Brinkhoff and Moegenburg

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All Places that the Eye of Heaven Visits

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Westminster Abbey

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I don’t have any pictures of Westminster Abbey, so you’ll have to imagine it behind the Palace of Westminster…

This is not a show for people who suffer with FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). There is simply no way to catch every one of the performances that happen in Westminster Abbey – instead what you get is a series of close-quarters encounters which depend entirely on what path you chose to take. Every experience you have is intimate, engrossing, and unique.

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