Tag Archives: National Theatre

The Old Vic at 200

11 May 2018 is the 200th anniversary of the opening of one of the most important theatres in the UK, known as the Old Vic. It was originally named the Royal Coburg Theatre, after Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg and his … Continue reading

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2018: The Year of Macbeth

Macbeth is known as Shakespeare’s unluckiest play. For generations it has been referred to by the superstitious as “The Scottish Play” because even speaking its name inside the theatre could bring down disaster. There are many stories of accidents and … Continue reading

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New Year’s Honours for Shakespeare

At the beginning of 2017 the New Year’s Honours List was published in which the great and the good were recognised for their services. Following the successful 2016 Rio Olympics it was inevitable that many of those honoured would be … Continue reading

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Black Shakespeare: Paapa Essiedu from Hamlet to Edmund

On 13 August it was the last performance of the latest production of Hamlet at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford. Every production of this play is notable, but particularly this time because Hamlet was played by a man of … Continue reading

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Harley Granville Barker, Shakespeare and the theatre

25 November is the birthday of the great man of the theatre, Harley Granville Barker. Barker was born in 1877 and in 2009 Richard Eyre proclaimed him his hero and “the father of modern British theatre”. Barker’s talents were many. … Continue reading

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Shakespearean dark ladies, George Bernard Shaw and the National Theatre

Everybody loves a mystery, and one of the most persistent is the identity of Shakespeare’s so-called Dark Lady. (It’s by no means certain that there ever was such a person).I wrote a couple of years ago about this story, particularly as … Continue reading

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Remembering the days of Empire: The Shakespeare Memorial National Theatre Ball, 1911

The years leading up to the First World War saw interest in Shakespeare reaching a high. In Stratford there were events relating to the rise in folk traditions of singing and dancing, but in London the movement to found a … Continue reading

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Remembering Sir Laurence Olivier

Friday 11 July 2014 is the 25th anniversary of Laurence Olivier’s death in 1989. By chance I was in the RST that evening and before the performance artistic director Terry Hands delivered an onstage tribute to Olivier. At the end … Continue reading

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Shakespeare’s vision of apocalypse: King Lear at the National Theatre

As I write this on the afternoon of 6 June the celebrations for the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy are taking place. President Hollande, speaking into a microphone, has been talking about peace in Europe, in front … Continue reading

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King Lear and poverty

I’m finally getting to see Simon Russell Beale playing King Lear at the National Theatre this week. I’m not sure how much I’m going to agree with some of the interpretation, but with Beale you know, however difficult the play … Continue reading

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