Hong Kong Cultural Centre | December 2016
Thomas Ostermeier’s theatrical career began with the radical ‘in-yer-face’ style, staging works by Mark Ravenhill and Sarah Kane with violent intimacy. His recent work with the Schaubühne has gravitated towards more classical texts such as Ibsen and Shakespeare and older patrons are no longer in danger of fainting during performances. It would be all too easy to accuse him (as he once accused older directors) of becoming irrelevant, and to judge Richard III as less radical in the context of his earlier work. I think this would be an unfair interpretation, especially given Ostermeier’s evident self-awareness about the contradictions within institutionalised theatre. His Richard III is politically charged and makes a strong point without making crass direct references to current events. This is as relevant an interpretation of the play as I have seen; perhaps not as viscerally shocking as we might expect, but shocking in the way we are seduced by it.
The Cockpit | London, December 2015
Some reflections on actor training regarding Shakespeare and Cuescript.
For some years The Salon:Collective have been exploring Shakespeare text through scenes without rehearsal, i.e. ‘cue-script’ as a training practice. Led by Lizzie and Dewi Hughes, (the latter also co- running this at Drama Studio) this time round they are attempting the whole Two Gentlemen of Verona, a play about love, lust, friendship, jealousy and favourite plot devices such as characters taking disguise and mistaken identity, and significantly, obscure enough for the cast to have not seen or worked on it before.
December 2014 | Barbican Theatre
The RSC with Gregory Doran continue the History Plays series at the Barbican following last years successful Richard II. Henry’s powerful former allies revolt against him in the messy aftermath of Richard’s abdication and murder. It’s the usual affair of armour and chivalry common with the traditional RSC productions popular amongst tourists and regulars but it falls short of the excitement and flair of a realised Shakespeare piece and feels more like the stiff, archaic performance in a static, formulaic manner that feels REALLY long (something which figures like John Barton worked hard to overcome.) This review will attempt to emulate this verily; prepare for nit-picking in a blandly structured essay.