Antony and Cleopatra: first look at the NT production starring Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo

In September, Simon Godwin’s new production of Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra will open on the National Theatre’s Olivier stage. Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo star as the lovers whose passionate private lives have a devastating effect on the political spheres they inhabit. Antony and Cleopatra is, of course, a love story but it is also…

Romeo and Juliet review, Birmingham Royal Ballet BRB, Sadler’s Wells: luxurious and intensely stirring entertainment

Classical ballet – even of the earthier, 20th-century kind – can struggle at Sadler’s Wells. The stage isn’t quite big enough to allow some of the larger ensembles and longer stories to breathe, there’s no proscenium arch to provide an elegant frame for the action, and the stark modernity of the auditorium is often at…

A rose by another name would not have Shakespeareans fuming

When Philip Henslowe picked up his quill pen in Elizabethan London to write his diaries he boasted how the Rose Theatre he had built was “my playe howsse”. The fourteen-sided polygon building completed in 1587 — 12 years before William Shakespeare’s Globe opened — became the heart of the capital’s theatre scene. When its foundations…

Miss Littlewood: exclusive first look at the new RSC production

Joan Littlewood made arguably the greatest contribution to British drama in the mid-20th century. This pioneering director, nicknamed «the mother of modern theatre», tore down the velvet curtain and smashed through the French windows to create something provocative and life-affirming, a populist but clever theatre for all. Basing herself at the Theatre Royal in Stratford,…

Hamlet and As You Like It review, Shakespeare’s Globe: the good, the bad and the plain cuckoo

Michelle Terry’s inaugural two productions as artistic director at Shakespeare’s Globe are a mixture of the good, the bad and the plain cuckoo. They’re delivered with the deadpan mischief of school-children who have been asked to re-do their homework in stricter accordance with the teacher’s instructions on the black-board – superficially compliant and yet abounding…

Watch Anthony Hopkins as King Lear in the first clip from new BBC film

The first clip from a new BBC adaptation of Shakespeare’s King Lear has been released, showing Oscar-winner Sir Anthony Hopkins as the aged king cruelly disowning his youngest daughter Cordelia (Lady Macbeth star Florence Pugh). The film is set in a dystopian version of modern-day England, a «totalitarian military dictatorship» ruled by Hopkins’ Lear. Thompson has been cast as…

Much Ado About Shakespeare part 6: the violence of Romeo and Juliet

Welcome to the latest edition of Much ado about Shakespeare, a new podcast series from The Telegraph in partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company.  In this latest episode, The Telegraph’s Ben Lawrence chairs a discussion between Erica Whyman, deputy artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and Emma Whipday, a Leverhulme early career fellow at…

Much Ado About Shakespeare part 5: Romeo and Juliet — behind the scenes

Welcome to the latest edition of Much ado about Shakespeare, a new podcast from The Telegraph in partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company.  In this latest episode, The Telegraph’s Ben Lawrence goes behind the scenes of Erica Whyman’s production of Romeo and Juliet (which is currently running in Stratford-upon-Avon) and talks to Whyman and several…

Much ado about Shakespeare part 4: Shakespeare – 21st Century Playwright

Welcome to the latest edition of Much ado about Shakespeare, a series of podcasts from The Telegraph in partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company.  In this special episode to commemorate Shakespeare’s birthday, The Telegraph’s Ben Lawrence chairs a discussion in the RSC’s Studio Theatre at The Other Place in Stratford-upon-Avon.. Shakespeare: 21st century playwright reflects on how, in terms…

Much ado about Shakespeare part 3: Terry Deary on the Curse of the Scottish play

Welcome to the third episode of Much ado about Shakespeare, a brand new podcast from the Telegraph  in partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company. We’ll be exploring our undying fascination with the world’s greatest playwright, giving you a peek behind the curtain on forthcoming RSC productions and hosting discussions about topics that are as relevant now…

Much ado about Shakespeare part 2: Unsex me here — the women of Macbeth

Welcome to Much ado about Shakespeare, a brand new podcast from The Telegraph in partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company.  In the second episode, The Telegraph’s Ben Lawrence will be in conversation with Polly Findlay, director of the RSC’s brand new production of Macbeth (which opens in Stratford-upon-Avon on March 13 and will be broadcast live…

Much ado about Shakespeare part 1: Macbeth — Christopher Eccleston, Niamh Cusack and Polly Findlay

Welcome to Much ado about Shakespeare, a brand new podcast from The Telegraph in partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company.  We’ll be exploring our undying fascination with the world’s greatest playwright, giving you a peek behind the curtain on forthcoming RSC productions and hosting discussions about topics that are as relevant now as they were…

The perfect antidote to a cold winter’s evening — A Midsummer Night’s Dream, ENO, London Coliseum, review 

Given the arctic conditions outside, a midsummer night certainly seemed like a dream, lending this performance of Britten’s enchanting opera special warmth and allure. A large audience drank it all in with rapt attention, pleasure and enthusiasm – how encouraging to realise that this marvellous music has finally come good at the box office. For…

Anti-cheat software reveals Shakespeare ‘borrowed’ phrases from little-known manuscript

Scholars have long argued about the inspiration for Shakespeare’s canon. Now a piece of software, used for detecting plagiarism among university students, may have the answer.  Researchers Dennis McCarthy and June Schlueter believe that the Bard of Avon may have borrowed turns of phrases and plotlines from a little-known 16th century manuscript, Rebellion and Rebels by…

A crucial figure in British theatre bids us a bold farewell — The Captive Queen, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Globe, review 

In 1992, actor Barrie Rutter formed Northern Broadsides with a mission to produce Shakespeare and others within a resolutely flat-vowelled, non-velvet framework. At the time, this move away from the confines of RP was seen as an act of chutzpah and in 2018, as fewer working-class actors feel able to enter the profession, Rutter’s work…

RSC to stage gender-balanced production of Troilus and Cressida 

The RSC is to stage its first gender-balanced production with the Bard’s “most testosterone-fuelled” play. Troilus and Cressida, set during the siege of Troy, will have a 50/50 split of male and female actors in a play that traditionally features just a handful of women. The titular characters are Trojan lovers, separated when Cressida is…

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