Friday, February 23

Tag: RSC

Hamnet – Garrick Theatre
London

Hamnet – Garrick Theatre

Based on the outstanding sell-out book by Maggie O’Farrell, Lolita Chakrabarti adapts the story for the stage under the RSC, which just recently transferred to West End at the Garrick Theatre. This being such a widely known story it is likely to match the book in being a sell-out, however we lose so much of the quality and depth of the characters to perhaps fit the time frame. We are introduced to Agnes (Madeleine Mantock) a young woman in Warwickshire inspired by plants, herbs and natural resources- she meets her new Latin tutor, William (Tom Varey). From there, they fall in love and Agnes falls pregnant out of wedlock. Quickly married and now twins on the way William goes to London to pursue his writing. Although we have moments with William as his career takes off, we stay with the wom...
The Merchant of Venice – Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon
West Midlands

The Merchant of Venice – Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon

It is not often recognised that this is one of Shakespeare’s comedies and watching this RSC production from 2015 under the direction of Polly Findlay as part of the BBC Culture in Quarantine programme, one would be tempted to say it was a tragedy. I often say that less is more but Johannes Schütz’s set design is so bare that even with its pendulum constantly swinging, it is impossible to decipher a proper sense of time or place which is at the heart of this play about money and how it affects all involved. We begin with Antonio (Jamie Ballard), a prince among Venetian merchants who is unaccountably depressed despite his obvious success as a dealer in luxury goods. His friend Bassanio (Jacob Fortune-Lloyd) in contrast is broke but remains reasonably cheerful as he has a plan to marry Po...