The battle of Agincourt and our ancient enmities with France take on a darker hue today in the light of events in Paris. Beside which, Greg Doran’s Henry V coincidentally sits as a sombre, sober comment on war.
It’s hard to over-state the pleasure that is the Globe’s final production of their 2015 summer season and Dominic Dromgoole’s last as artistic director. Next year, Emma Rice, formerly of Kneehigh, takes over the reins.
Victorian essayist Thomas de Quincey described it as “perhaps the most superb work in the language”. More recently, scholar Paul Edmonson in his new, highly readable introduction to Shakespeare says the play is “as innovative as anything Shakespeare ever produced”.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream (As You Like It), after William Shakespeare, Barbican. Review by Julia Pascal.
Perhaps the most tedious part of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the Pyramus and Thisbe interlude but director Dmitry Krymov has made it a wonderful spectacle of surrealism and circus.
The première of Verdi’s Otello at ENO was also a celebration of director David Alden’s 30th anniversary at the opera house. American lyric soprano is a rich-voiced Desdemona making her UK debut. Australian heldentenor, Stuart Skelton is a charismatic Otello who is matched outstandingly by Jonathan Summers’ cool Iago. This is a magnificent production.
In the character of Richard – the weak 14th century English king, swayed by favourites who allowed himself to be deposed – Shakespeare wrote some of his most poetic and fascinating psychological insights into kingship and collapse of fortunes. He’s a `problem’ character alright.
The Donmar Warehouse stages Josie Rourke’s own take on Coriolanus, the Roman general who could not stoop to flatter the public and who pays the highest price for his `arrogance’.