Author: cometothepedlar

  • Othello (National Theatre) @ The Lyttleton Theatre

    Othello (National Theatre) @ The Lyttleton Theatre

    One of the many issues that Othello presents to a company is the structural imbalance around direct address which sees Iago given a relatively huge proportion of stage time to address the audience directly and develop – willing or unwitting – complicity between himself and the theatre audience. The much-discussed issue this generates is the […]

  • Henry V (Shakespeare’s Globe/Headlong) @ The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

    Henry V (Shakespeare’s Globe/Headlong) @ The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

    There have been anti-heroic Henry Vs before, but rarely does one commit quite so thoroughly to the bit as did Holly Race Roughan’s production for Shakespeare’s Globe. A collaboration with Headlong, Roughan’s production conflated anti-heroism with anti-theatricalism, or at least with a deconstructed approach to the performance event that formally punctured rhetorical acts of performance. […]

  • The Tempest (Round House and Folger Theatre) @ The Round House

    The Tempest (Round House and Folger Theatre) @ The Round House

    Early in Aaron Posner and Teller’s production of The Tempest – the acclaimed production that premiered in Vegas in 2014 – Ferdinand (Ro Boddie) wandered confusedly across the stage towards where Ariel (Nate Dendy) stood over a bowl of water in which he had submerged a paper boat. Ariel took the befuddled Ferdinand and plunged […]

  • Galatea (Treehouse Shakespeare Ensemble) @ The Wharf Studio

    Galatea (Treehouse Shakespeare Ensemble) @ The Wharf Studio

    Much of John Lyly’s Galatea riffs on individuals learning who they are while being forced to present themselves as something they are not: nymphs who’ve been magically made to fall in love, girls dressed as boys to avoid a ritual sacrifice of virgins, boys temporarily becoming apprentices to unsuitable masters. Self-identification, throughout the play, becomes […]

  • The Duchess of Malfi (Treehouse Shakespeare Ensemble) @ The Wharf Loft

    The Duchess of Malfi (Treehouse Shakespeare Ensemble) @ The Wharf Loft

    ‘I account this world a tedious theatre’ spat the Duchess (Rachel Louis). If Shakespeare’s Jacques imagines the whole world as a stage where people can play their parts, then Webster’s Duchess is tired of performing. In Treehouse Shakespeare Ensemble’s Duchess of Malfi, directed by Chase Fowler,the metaphor was literalized as an abandoned theatre came to […]

  • The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Treehouse Shakespeare Ensemble) @ The Wharf Loft

    The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Treehouse Shakespeare Ensemble) @ The Wharf Loft

    Perhaps there’s no such thing as Free Love. Treehouse Shakespeare Ensemble’s small-scale production of The Two Gentlemen of Verona sought to tackle the contradictions in the play by setting it in Italy’s turbulent 1970s, where the rustic old world met the cosmopolitan fashion scene, and the hippie movement bumped up against the influence of the […]

  • Much Ado about Nothing (Shakespeare Theatre Company) @ Sidney Harman Hall

    Much Ado about Nothing (Shakespeare Theatre Company) @ Sidney Harman Hall

    This review is of a preview performance. The conceit for Simon Godwin’s new Much Ado about Nothing for Shakespeare Theatre Company (his second of the year, after this summer’s production at the National in London) was ripped straight from the beloved 2005 Shakespeare Re-Told BBC adaptation. Like that film, this production was set in a […]

  • The Duchess of Malfi (Red Bull) @ The Red Bull Theater (via livestream)

    The Duchess of Malfi (Red Bull) @ The Red Bull Theater (via livestream)

    A group of music stands stood arranged on the Red Bull’s thrust stage, and actors emerged to sit on either side of the stage, ready to play. The concert-style environment offered a fascinating set-up for a reading of Duchess of Malfi that made intricate use of its performance constraints. Filmed live with multiple cameras, and […]

  • Une Tempête (American Shakespeare Center) @ The Blackfriars Playhouse

    Une Tempête (American Shakespeare Center) @ The Blackfriars Playhouse

    Where, in the ASC’s production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Sarah Fallon’s Prospero was rarely seen without her staff, for James Keegan’s Prospero in the company’s revival of Aimé Césaire’s Une Tempête, it was the megaphone that was the indispensable prop. Slung around his neck when not in use, the megaphone came into play as the […]

  • Pericles (American Shakespeare Center) @ The Blackfriars Playhouse

    Pericles (American Shakespeare Center) @ The Blackfriars Playhouse

    An Actors Renaissance Season show may not have a director, but Pericles has a handy stage manager in Gower. Annabelle Rollison’s Chorus (unnamed in this production) burst onto the stage following the pre-show announcements to introduce the fable of Pericles to the rest of the ensemble, who assembled around her as a rapt onstage audience. […]