Published in The i July 20, 2021
It is 50 years since Ian McKellen last played Hamlet – a stretch of time itself greater than the age of most actors who play Shakespeare’s “sweet prince”. At 82, Sir Ian makes history as the oldest actor to have a stab at the part, in an age-blind production by Sean Mathias at the Theatre Royal Windsor.
Continue reading “Ian McKellen is the world’s oldest Hamlet. But did Shakespeare ever want his stars to act their age?”
Published in The Evening Standard January 21, 2021
While 2020 may be behind us, the new year brings continued uncertainty for the UK’s theatre industry. And if the situation is bleak for staff and freelancers facing shuttered venues, it’s surely even tougher for the next generation of talent: young people still studying – who have had to return to remote learning online this month, as schools and colleges shut once more – as well as those who graduated last summer with little chance of working.
Continue reading “Rehearsing Othello on Zoom: the theatre students pursuing their dream during a pandemic”
Published in Time Out March 19, 2020
There’s probably a German word for the precise feeling of frustration you get watching Globe artistic director and world-class Shakespearean actor Michelle Terry sat on stage, not playing one of the thorniest parts in Shakespeare.
Continue reading “Review: The Taming of the Shrew, The Globe”
Published in Time Out March 22, 2019
Transferring from the Globe, Morgan Lloyd Malcolm’s play about the seventeenth-century poet Emilia Bassano Lanier has already been widely heralded as ‘rousing’ – and it certainly is that. It rouses the audience right to their feet. They whoop and cheer the barnstorming feminist speeches, and literally boo the bad oppressive men.
Continue reading “Review: Emilia, Vaudeville Theatre”
Andrew Scott, 41, was born and raised in Dublin. Recently seen in the BBC adaptation of King Lear, he is best known for playing Moriarty in Sherlock, and for starring in Robert Icke’s production of Hamlet, which transferred from the Almeida to the West End last year. In 2008, Simon Stephens wrote Sea Wall – a monologue about grief – for Scott; it is being revived as part of the Old Vic’s bicentenary celebrations. Continue reading “Andrew Scott: ‘There was no Hamlet rivalry with Benedict Cumberbatch’”
Snarling, gurning, clad in black leather and dragging his deformed leg around by a chain… this Richard III could only telegraph ‘villain’ stronger if he came accompanied by a boo-hiss chorus. Yet Greg Hicks’ supple, detailed performance never tips into caricature. He’s by far the best thing in an otherwise rather pedestrian production by Mehmet Ergen. Continue reading “Review: Richard III, The Arcola”
Sophie Okonedo was born in 1968 in London and studied at Rada. She has worked extensively across theatre, film and TV and was nominated for a best supporting actress Oscar for the 2004 film Hotel Rwanda. Continue reading “Sophie Okonedo: ‘My body is my barometer – my instincts are physical’”
Simon Godwin’s production turns Malvolio into Malvolia, with Tamsin Greig playing the uptight steward. Malvolio has long been seen as the plum part in this comedy of mistaken identities, and Greig rises to the occasion fruitily. Continue reading “Review: Twelfth Night, National Theatre”
This modern version of Much Ado is set on a traverse stage that evokes a catwalk. Which is appropriate, because this is Shakespeare refashioned – or to use the shouty official description, reFASHIONed – by Selfridges, in a pop-up theatre built inside those halls of glittering jewellery and bags that cost more than many shows’ production budget. The company, well-respected fringe veterans The Faction, are decked out in high-fashion garb. Continue reading “Review: Much Ado About Nothing, Selfridges”
Game of Thrones must be a dream for the theatrical casting agent. It’s full of good-looking, young British actors whose involvement in the wildly successful TV show guarantees feverish interest from fans and frothing media coverage, whatever they do next. Even if it’s Elizabethan drama. Continue reading “Why Game of Thrones is bad news for British theatre”