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Much Ado About Nothing – Tobacco Factory, Bristol

Writer: William Shakespeare Designer: Jean Chan Director: Elizabeth Freestone Reviewer: Julia Beasley Truth, lies and love are the eternal themes of Shakespeare’s witty comedy. How far can people be manipulated by misinformation? Can anyone ever be taken at their word? When can you trust someone enough to fall in love with them? Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory’s take on this ...

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Measure for Measure – The Lowry, Salford

Writer: William Shakespeare Director: Gregory Doran Reviewer: Sam Lowe Measure for Measure is an interesting case study for a Shakespeare play. It’s known for not really fitting agreeably into either genre box of comedy (meaning it possesses a happy ending) or tragedy. Shakespeare’s plays can be divided into the following: Tragedy, History, or Comedy. Some academics have even referred to ...

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The Taming of The Shrew -The Lowry, Salford

Writer: William Shakespeare Director:  Justin Audibert Reviewer: Richard Hall The Taming Of The Shrew is one of three plays that the Royal Shakespeare Company has brought to The Lowry for a much anticipated two week season. Having previously played at Stratford-Upon-Avon, this production has generated a lot of interest due to its fresh portrayal of gender politics. What makes this ...

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King John – Swan Theatre, Stratford upon Avon

Writer: William Shakespeare Director: Eleanor Rhode Reviewer: Katie Burchett Neon lights, foam hands and political sparring in a boxing ring; Eleanor Rhode brings Shakespeare’s unsung King John to the Swan Theatre in an explosion of visual splendour. It is a rare thing to go into a Shakespeare play with no preconceived ideas of how it’ll be done, but from the ...

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As You Like It – The Lowry, Salford

Writer: William Shakespeare Director: Kimberley Sykes Reviewer: Dave Cunningham Director Kimberley Sykes uses the current production of As You Like It to examine whether, as is opined in the play, the world really is a stage.  The show opens in what might be considered the traditional manner- a bleak monochrome court from which the increasingly paranoid Duke has banished many ...

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Macbeth – Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester

Writer: William Shakespeare Director: Christopher Haydon Reviewer: May Mellstrom Shakespeare’s murderous tale of power, greed and ambition is reinvented in Christopher Haydon’s Macbeth, notable for the casting of a woman in the title role and therefore offering a fresh perspective on an oft-performed play.  With war raging it is Lucy Ellinson’s Macbeth who emerges victorious from the battleground; hailed as ...

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Musical Confusion – Leeds Town Hall

Director: Elizabeth Freestone Conductor: Helen Harrison Reviewer: Ron Simpson The Northern Opera Group is never afraid to take on the unusual in its pleasingly varied small-scale festival, the Leeds Opera Festival. This year the theme was Shakespeare, but not in anything like a predictable way. The major production, Stanford’s Much Ado about Nothing, while short of a masterpiece, was certainly ...

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Macbeth – Temple Church, London

Writer: William Shakespeare Directors: Ben Horslen and John Risebero Reviewer: Maryam Philpott Macbethis such a difficult play to get right and with so many elements to marshal, the overall effect can often drain the play of its dramatic energy. Macbethis an intensely psychological play, one that must chart the non-linear progress of the anti-hero while considering the agency of the ...

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