Tag: Marlowe

  • After Edward (Shakespeare’s Globe) @ The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

    After Edward (Shakespeare’s Globe) @ The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

    Rarely have response plays so explicitly picked up where their prompt play left off. Beginning in blackout, an arm with a lantern reached down from the ceiling of the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, momentarily illuminating the auditorium. Then, in the renewed darkness that followed, an almighty crash, before Tom Stuart’s Edward – the actor and character simultaneously leading Nick […]

  • Edward II (Shakespeare’s Globe) @ The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

    Edward II (Shakespeare’s Globe) @ The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

    Nick Bagnall’s new production of Edward II, reimagined for a candlelit indoor playhouse, collapsed its imagined spaces from the very opening. Gathering around the corpse of Edward I, the company (led by Richard Bremmer’s Archbishop of Canterbury) sang a Latin requiem and then crowned Edward II (Tom Stuart). Edward then began speaking his own summons to Gaveston, who appeared […]

  • Doctor Faustus (Shakespeare’s Globe) @ The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

    Doctor Faustus (Shakespeare’s Globe) @ The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

    Paulette Randall’s first production for the Globe – and, according to her bio, her first production of an early modern play – made an important statement, taking a play that focuses on the archetypal white male overreacher and casting Jocelyn Jee Esien as the titular Doctor Faustus. It’s part of the Globe’s agenda-setting commitment to diversity, and all […]

  • Tamburlaine (RSC) @ The Swan Theatre

    Tamburlaine (RSC) @ The Swan Theatre

    Oh, how I’ve missed Michael Boyd. While there’s much I admire about Gregory Doran’s work, the RSC’s output has been at best variable for the last few years, often seeming to be in competition with the thrust stage and falling too often into dully conservative furrows. Boyd’s tenure as Artistic Director was far from perfect, but at its […]

  • Edward II (Lazarus) @ Greenwich Theatre

    Edward II (Lazarus) @ Greenwich Theatre

    ‘Edward the First is dead’. Announced by a klaxon, this harsh voiceover opened Lazarus’s Edward II with a threat and a challenge. As the audience filed in, the stage had gradually filled with anonymous men, suited but jacket-less and barefoot, walking with measured, stately bobs. The combination of purposeful gait but seemingly random direction created a milieu […]

  • Tamburlaine (Yellow Earth) @ Birmingham Old Rep

    Tamburlaine (Yellow Earth) @ Birmingham Old Rep

    It’s been more than a decade since I last saw a Yellow Earth production, the innovative King Lear that was part of the RSC’s Complete Works Festival, and that managed to simultaneously be boutique and epic. 2017’s short tour of Tamburlaine hit similar notes, with a company of only six actors and one musician performing a compressed version of […]

  • Doctor Faustus (The Jamie Lloyd Company) @ The Duke of York’s Theatre

    Doctor Faustus (The Jamie Lloyd Company) @ The Duke of York’s Theatre

    Jamie Lloyd’s West End production of Doctor Faustus, promoted with a cult celebrity star and promises of a deliberately subversive approach to rewriting and updating the play is a Marmite production. No doubt many will hate the mash-up of A-text and new writing that emerge from a joint writing credit (‘By Christopher Marlowe and Colin Teevan’) and the […]

  • Doctor Faustus (Passion in Practice) @ The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

    Doctor Faustus (Passion in Practice) @ The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

    I was privileged this week to spend several days in rehearsals with Passion in Practice on their new staged reading of Doctor Faustus. Practice and Passion is a long-term rolling ensemble project devoted to the exploration of original pronunciation and, as I’m currently editing the play for a new anthology, the company kindly offered me the […]

  • Doctor Faustus (RSC) @ The Swan Theatre

    Doctor Faustus (RSC) @ The Swan Theatre

    Watching Maria Aberg’s production of Doctor Faustus in the Swan, I found it hard not to think of A-level drama projects. This isn’t just because I’m speaking at a sixth-form study day at the RSC next month tying in with this production, but because of the deliberately DIY aesthetic of the production, with its gaudy symbolism and messy stage. […]

  • The Jew of Malta (RSC) @ The Swan Theatre

    The Jew of Malta (RSC) @ The Swan Theatre

    Seeing The Jew of Malta immediately after seeing Volpone, with both performed by the same ensemble, brings out some surprising similarities between two very different plays. Both feature states with a severe – and arguably corrupt – rule of law; both feature a rich role-player as the morally deficient protagonist who deploys alternative personas as part of his […]