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Review : Measure for Measure at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre – 20th June to 17th October 2015

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Measure for Measure is often considered a ‘problem’ play due to its inability to fit into neat tragedy or comedy genres. However this did not deter outgoing Artistic Director Dominic Dromgoole from choosing it to be part of his final summer season and finding time to direct this production.

The scene is set before the play really begins with a display of bawdy and licentiousness behaviour by the cast amongst the audience, in many ways this sets the tone for the early scenes which focus more on the comedy than the darker themes. Trevor Fox’s Pompey, Brendan O’Hea’s Lucio and remarkably sure-footed Dean Nolan’s Elbow provide a number of comedy moments that delight the audience.

However for all the comedy, it is the actions of Vincentio, Duke of Vienna, whose disgust at the immorality in his city which eventually leads to his withdrawal from public life that sets off a chain of events that illustrate the way that human frailty can often undermine social ideals.

The Duke’s deputy, Angelo is alloted the task of clean up the city, he begins his puritanical crusade against the immorality by condemning Claudio to death for getting his girlfriend pregnant. It is the scenes between Kurt Egyiawan’s Angelo and Mariah Gale’s Isabella that are pivotal to the plot, both are complex characters who are driven to follow the right path but are subject to the power of human emotions. Gale’s performance of the novice nun Isabella pleading for her brother’s life but unwilling to sacrifice her virtue is notable for its restrained power whilst Egyiawan’s Angelo offers a man torn by his inner conflicts.

Dominic Rowan’s Duke and his later scenes when he is disguised as a friar brings a comedic and assured presence to the proceedings especially in the second half when the intricacy of the plot are played out.

If the play’s ambiguity often lends itself to diverse interpretations, Dromgoole’s largely tradition version is full of crowd pleasing comedy but does not shy away from some of the darker aspects of the play. In many ways, Measure for Measure is less a problem play but more a ‘dilemma’ play in which people’s social and personal morals are exposed.

The strong cast provided plenty of entertainment to an appreciative audience on a warm summer’s evening, it was a night when the unique nature of this iconic theatre was used to its full potential.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

If you would like further information or book tickets for this production, visit the Shakespeare’s Globe website here 

 London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and the latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Review : As You Like It at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre – 15th May to 5th September 2015

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Director Blanche McIntyre returns to the Globe after her acclaimed 2014 version of The Comedy of Errors, however  her version of As You Like It is less a farce but more gentle comedy. Upon a sparse set, McIntyre creates a Forest of Arden that is a more a state of mind that allows many of the characters to throw off the shackles of formal courtly hierarchies and corruption to follow their hearts desire.

Orlando (Simon Harrison) shows his talents for wrestling are not matched by his skills at wooing the Duke’s daughter Rosalind (Michelle Terry). The stage is then set for a series of events that introduce the characters in an increasingly intricate plot.

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Rosalind (Michelle Terry) and Celia (Ellie Piercy) like giddy schoolgirls bounce around the stage planning their great escape from the court whilst Orlando flees from the evil intent of his brother Oliver. Other characters are introduced, the melancholy Jacques (James Garnon) embodies the wit and surreal wisdom of Eddie Izzard, and the fool Touchstone (Daniel Crossley) who spits out his lines like a stand up comedian.

Living in the Forest of Arden like Robin Hood and his merry men is the usurped Duke Senior and followers, elsewhere lovesick shepherd Silvius  pursues the attractive shepherdess Phebe (Gwyneth Keyworth). But their rural idyll are soon disturbed by exiles Rosalind (dressed as a man), Celia and Touchstone. Whilst in another part of the Forest, Orlando is trying to improve his wooing technique by writing verses which he pins to the trees. The different strands of the story, come together in the Forest where we are treated to a novel small tap dancing interlude before the final happy endings.

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In a production that is largely traditional, it places a great deal onto the cast to produce the fireworks on stage and McIntyre has put together a cast that is more that up to the task. Rosalind ( Michelle Terry ) excels as the woman who explores bounds of gender with humour and wit, Orlando (Simon Harrison) portrays the awkwardness of a young man in love and Celia (Ellie Piercy) provides a performance that exudes feminine friendship.

The solid supporting cast included crowd pleasers, Jacques (James Garnon),Touchstone (Daniel Crossley) and Audrey (Sophia Nomvete).  The excellent music composed by songwriter Johnny Flynn  added to the folksy woodland atmosphere.

Historically, As You Like It  tends to divide critics but is often very popular with actors and the audience, this production follows that tradition with the actors and audience both enjoying the unique atmosphere of the Globe Theatre.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

If you would like further information or book tickets, visit the Shakespeare’s Globe website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

As You Like It at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre – 15th May to 5th September 2015

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As You Like It is one of William Shakespeare’s most popular comedies with actors and audiences, the Shakespeare’s Globe will be transformed into the Forest of Arden populated by a variety of memorable characters.

Rosalind, the daughter of an unjustly exiled duke, falls in love with the wronged Orlando, a courtier deprived of his birthright by his brother – but her usurping uncle, jealous of her popularity, banishes her from court. Disguised as a boy and accompanied by her cousin Celia, she seeks out her father and his friends in the Forest of Arden. There she meets Orlando again and, under the guise of a young man, counsels him in the art of love.

As You Like It runs the glorious gamut of pastoral romance: cross-dressing and brilliant conversation, gentle satire, forgiveness and reparation.

Cast

David Beames
Duke Senior/Duke Frederick

Daniel Crossley
Touchstone

Patrick Driver
Corin

James Garnon
Jacques

Simon Harrison
Orlando

Gwyneth Keyworth
Phebe

William Mannering
Oliver /Amiens

Jack Monaghan
Silvius

Sophia Nomvete
Audrey

Ellie Piercy
Celia

Gary Shelford
Charles/Hymen

Perri Snowdon
Le Beau/Jacques de Boys

Michelle Terry
Rosalind

Phil Whitchurch
Adam

 If you would like more information or book tickets, visit the Shakespeare’s Globe website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

Review: The Merchant of Venice at the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre – 23rd April to 7 June 2015

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Artistic Director Dominic Dromgoole’s final summer season at the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre explores the themes of  ‘Justice & Mercy’.  These themes underpin one of Shakespeare ‘s most popular plays, The Merchant of Venice which is the first play in the season.

The play has a remarkably contemporary resonance showing how consumption, speculation and debt often leads to disaster. But it is the character of Shylock that offers us one of the most memorable characters in all theatre, for centuries regarded as the villain of the piece, the character is now considered  much more ambiguous and complex.

Just the kind of role that would seem to be perfect for versatile and award-winning actor, Jonathan Pryce who recently  impressed in his role as Cardinal Wolsey in the BBC One’s adaptation of Wolf Hall.

Jonathan Munby’s production of The Merchant Of Venice plays to the unique setting of the Globe theatre by building up a rapport with the audience with a series of comedic episodes. Stefan Adegbola’s Launcelot Gobbo, David Sturzaker’s drunken Gratiano and Dorothea Myer-Bennett as Nerissa all excel in their comedy pieces as the bright young things of Venetian society pursue their romantic intrigues. This production explores in more depth the relationship  between Daniel Lapaine’s Bassanio and Dominic Mafham’s Antonio with references to their past love and Rachel Pickup’s Portia’s uneasy response to her new husband’s past history.

However, one of the strengths of  Shakespeare is that the comedy often illuminates the tragedy, and this is the case when Jonathan Pryce’s Shylock has to come to terms with his daughter’s Jessica rejection of him and his faith as she pursues love in the guise of Ben Lamb’s Lorenzo. The fact that Jessica is played by Pryce’s real life daughter Phoebe adds poignancy but she more than holds her own in the scenes that chart the beginning of a descent into humiliation for Shylock.

It is within the heart of the production that the themes of Justice and Mercy are played out to their fullest with the much abused Shylock seeking revenge on Antonio and the Venetian elite by insisting on his ‘pound of flesh’. However his obsession with revenge blinds him to the reality that his position is rather more tenuous than he believes. It is within this dichotomy that Pryce’s memorable depiction of Shylock rests, seeking justice but finding humiliation, the courtroom scene especially lays bare the prejudices of Venetian society and brings the realisation that ‘Justice’ and ‘Mercy’ are  relative concepts that can be distorted by the tricks and deceptions of a devious lawyer.

For all the authenticity of the Shakespeare’s Globe and its productions, it is the mind-set of the audience that has probably changed the most over the centuries. Up to the twentieth century, the audience would have left the theatre, happy in the knowledge that order had been restored and evil had been defeated and love had conquered all. The modern audience leaving this memorable production is left with a sense of unease that Shylock had paid too high a price for his pursuit of vengeance and that the Venetian elite had through deception maintained their hedonistic lifestyle of conspicuous consumption and racial intolerance.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

This highly anticipated production is likely to be highly popular, If you would like further information or book tickets, visit the Shakespeare’s Globe website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

The Knight of the Burning Pestle at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse -11 December 2014 to 11 January 2015

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The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse a new candlelit indoor theatre. is located on the Globe site and is accessed through the main foyer

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Enjoy a festive treat with a difference as Pauline McLynn and Phil Daniels return to fuel the mayhem in this critically-acclaimed madcap meta-romp. Set under the glorious candlelight of the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, the mince pies and mulled wine are on standby for a night of heckling, pratfalls and non-stop silliness in Francis Beaumont’s mashed-up, mixed-up screwball comedy.

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Running not one but two plays within-the-play simultaneously, The Knight of the Burning Pestle combines wicked humour with charming songs and a cast of hilarious London characters in one of the earliest comedies to hit the English stage. After delighting audiences and critics alike, this riotous production returns for a strictly limited Christmas run.

For more information or book tickets, visit the Shakespeare’s Globe website here 

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

The Changeling at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse – 15 January to 1 March 2015

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The beautiful Beatrice-Joanna loves Alsemero, but she’s betrothed to another. So her fiancé must die – not by her hand, of course, but by that of the repulsive servant De Flores. Unfortunately it’s not money De Flores claims as his reward, but sex – and with the sweet virgin Beatrice-Joanna herself.

Charged with Middleton’s ferocious dramatic irony, and leavened by Rowley’s wild comic sub-plot, nothing in English drama comes near to this tale of a liaison based on repulsion and fascination. In fact, with its ghosts, dumb shows, scenes of Bedlam, and atmosphere of depraved violence, The Changeling runs the gamut of the Jacobean stage.

For more information or book tickets, visit the Shakespeare’s Globe website here 

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

Review : Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre Exhibition and Tour

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Shakespeare’s  Globe Theatre

Location – 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, London, SE1 9DT

Shakespeare’s Globe is situated on the South Bank of the Thames in Southwark. It is a modern reconstruction of the Globe Theatre, an Elizabethan playhouse  that was originally built-in 1599, destroyed by fire in 1613, rebuilt in 1614, and then finally demolished in 1644.

The modern Globe is situated around 700 ft from the site of the original theatre and was designed to recreate as near as possible the experience of watching a play in the time of Shakespeare. The modern Globe was created due to the initiative of American actor and director Sam Wanamaker and  is based on the original Globe of 1599, although there are no plans of the theatre, considerable academic research went into the design to make it as accurate as possible to the original.

The tour guides tend to be very knowledgeable and some are actors in their own right and entering the theatre offers a unique experience, walking  through the wooden doors you are transported into the days of Shakespeare.

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To the modern theatre goer, the facilities are a bit of a shock with the theatre open to the elements and the most rudimentary seating. There is no microphones or speakers, all music is played live and the audience can be seen by the actors as the plays are performed in daylight or lit by internal lighting.

One major difference between Shakespearian and Modern Theatre is that in the original Globe, the audience were not passive but part of the action. There tended to give feedback to the action, if the audience did not like the action they were not shy to let the actors know.

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In rebuilding the Globe, the organisation went to considerable lengths to be ‘authentic’ ,  It is built from materials available in 1600 (oak, lime plaster, and thatch) using construction methods of the period: the oak timbers are joined together with wooden pegs. Costumes are made from the textiles of 1600, such as linen, wool, leather, and silk, based on patterns and garments surviving from the early 17th Century.

Inside the theatre, it is necessary to understand how the Shakespearian Theatre worked. The stage thrusts out into the yard where up to  700 people can stand to watch a performance. These members of the audience often paid just a penny for the cheapest view and  were referred to as ‘groundlings’ or  by more derogatory names such as ‘penny stinks’.
If you had a little more money, you would be seated in the boxes and if you were very privileged in the Gentlemens’ Boxes/Rooms or Lords Rooms.

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The stage is covered by the Heavens, the roof painted with stars, moons, and signs of the zodiac. Beneath the stage is Hell, an area from where devils or witches might appear. Above the stage is the Attic where sound effects are created.

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After a tour of the theatre itself, visitors can explore the exhibition based under the Globe Theatre that explains in more depth, the life of Shakespeare, the London where he lived, and the theatre for which he wrote. It also provides some insight into the area surrounding the Globe which was once London’s most notorious entertainment district, surrounded by  taverns and bawdy-houses.

Since the theatre opened in 1997,  it has staged  a large number of acclaimed plays and events. Because it is open to the elements, performances are restricted to May through to October.

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In 2014 the Theatre opened a new Jacobean Theatre based on one that was located in Blackfrairs. It is known as the Sam Wanamaker Theatre and plays will be performed all year round.

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The Shakespeare’s Globe Exhibition and Tour offers a interesting and entertaining  insight in  Elizabethan Theatre. The building of the theatre itself is a major achievement and the tour guides explain in detail how the vision of Sam Wanamaker came into being and has provided a wonderful monument to Shakespeare and English Theatre.

The Shakespeare’s Globe Exhibition and Tour will appeal to a wide range of people and all ages, it is an opportunity to be transported back in time to understand the type of environment in which one of the world’s greatest playwrights learnt his trade. There is no doubt that Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre is one of the more unique sights in London.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

The Shakespeare’s Globe has an Exhibition and Tours all the year round:

Exhibition & Tour Opening Hours and Tickets

Exhibition

Daily: 9.00am – 5.30pm

Globe Theatre Tours

Daily : 9.30am – 5.00pm

Tours depart every 30 minutes. First tour at 9.30am, last tour at 5pm.

Tours depart every half an hour between the times shown and the tour itself lasts  for around 40 minutes and you can explore the exhibition at your leisure.

Tickets

There is no need to pre-book for the Exhibition & Tour. Tickets can be bought on the admissions desk on the day, every day.

Exhibition and Globe Theatre Tour

Adult: £13.50
Senior (60+): £12.00
Student (with valid ID): £11.00
Children (5-15): £8.00
Children (under 5): Free
Family (up to 2 adults & 3 children): £36.00

For more information and tickets please visit the Globe website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here