July 15th, 2013


Shakespeare reviews:Propeller's Taming of the Shrew & Twelfth Night; Crookback (solo Richard III)

Last week was a bit of a watershed as I saw three Shakespearean show one after another; I was a bit tempted to go to a fourth to see if I could hit some kind of personal record. Who knows, maybe at the end of this month I'll see about doing five in five days - the Globe has an Indian troupe performing The Tempest and that would probably merit a visit, and God knows every pub theater under God's green earth appears to have some Bard on. I would know: I went to see Crookback, a one man retelling of Richard III, in a steamy upper room of a pub in Camden last Thursday. It was impressive but ultimately rather exhausting both physically and mentally; I think perhaps either the number of characters or the number of murders should have been reduced and the focus placed more on Richard.

I also made it to the Hampstead for Propeller Theater's annual visit (practically my annual visit as well): stronger of the two was their Taming of the Shrew, which didn't win me over to the script but whose punk rock Katherine broke my heart. Weaker was The Twelfth Night - while the acting was excellent, the recent version with Mark Rylance was pretty firmly in my mind and he was a better Lady Olivia (even if Propellor had a better Viola and Sebastian). But with the weather as excellent as it has been, it didn't quite hit the "was this more fun that sitting in the garden with some cold pink wine and some good friends" level of awesomeness. Ah well.