Richard II

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Almeida Theatre

I need to be a bit careful here to separate my impressions of the actual show from the (entirely serendipitous, I am not that good at planning) Q&A session with some of the cast and the Assistant Director afterwards, in terms of what I took away from what they did.*

The most important thing to note is that this production is stripped back – in almost every sense. A neat 100 minute running time (no interval) was just the start – the actors performed in a square box, riveted metal, which didn’t even have a single door (they all stayed on stage the whole time), the only props were some six or so buckets (about which more later), the costumes were simple shirts and trousers in uniformly dark colours, and there was little (but not quite nothing) in the way of sound and lighting effects.

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Th’ one half of my commission

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Well, the end of 2018 is a bit of a milestone for this blog. I am the end of five years of my ten year Shakespeare New Year Resolution. Half way through. So as well as rounding up the last year, I’m doing a little more thinking about the project as a whole – what it has meant to me, and what I might still try and do with it.  Not all of that thinking will necessarily make it into this blog – but rest assured it is happening!

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As index to the story

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Just a quick heads up that I plan to watch and live-tweet the 2014 film Anarchy, also known (to me at least) as the biker Cymbeline. It seems like a fitting way to spend some of those crazy hours between Christmas and the New Year!

If you want to join me, I’m on Twitter at seek_cymbeline. I plan to start at 2.00 pm UK time. There will probably be snark, and maybe drinking (it is Christmas after all!) and undoubtedly some appreciation for Shakespeare and for anyone who chooses to tackle his more bonkers plays…

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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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