Sunday 04th December

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Shakespeare in Love. Noel Coward Theatre.
Shakespeare in Love. Noel Coward Theatre.

Shakespeare in Love: A comedic tale of love, heartbreak and tragedy

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In some ways it’s quite bewildering that Shakespeare in Love has taken so long to arrive in the West End. Sixteen-years have passed since the film adaptation swept the Oscars, and now the theatre production, scripted by the wonderful Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard, has arrived in the West End, achieving a glorious, genuine and witty comedy theatrical production. Shakespeare in Love has all the tragedy and emotion associated with William Shakespeare timeless classic, Romeo and Juliet, but this is a production that is far from tragic; it is a thing of beauty, sad, and wonderful, a true masterpiece, depicting the trials and tribulations of the greatest playwright of all time, William Shakespeare.

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Category: Theatre
Good People at the Noël Coward Theatre
Good People at the Noël Coward Theatre

Good People: Imelda Staunton shines in a compelling underdog story

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David Lindsay-Abaire’s tale of class conflict and social mobility in America is a compelling watch. Though many might at first be somewhat apprehensive about the Americanisation of British theatres, this American import has a lot going for it. It deals head-on with issues, such as class, race, and homosexuality, which Americans are notoriously defensive, and naturally pull down the shutters when these topics come up in discussion. The Good People, however, does not shy away from such discussions; instead, these issues are at the forefront, and dealt with head-on, in what some might be tempted to label a ‘modern classic.’

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Category: Theatre
MIDSUMMERNIGHTS DREAM by Shakespeare
Photograph by Johan Persson

Michael Grandage’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream

The fourth in Michael Grandage’s series of plays at the Noel Coward Theatre is Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Generally considered to be Shakespeare’s funniest play (I would not contest this), A Midsummer Night’s Dream has everything: fairies, forests, love triangles, weddings, plays within the play and, oh yes, a sneaky death threat. Hermia loves Lysander and Lysander loves Hermia but Demetrius also loves Hermia and is her Father’s choice. Then there is Helena who loves Demetrius but nobody loves Helena. Confused yet? Throw in some meddling fairies and you’ve got yourself a corker of a play.

This production is, in a word, spectacular. Christopher Oram’s set and costume design transports the stage into a dark and wonderful fairyland. The presence of a giant full moon as the backdrop to the forest scenes had an almost hypnotising effect (on me at least) and really added to the mysticism and general confusion of the unfolding events. The overall sparsity of the stage in the forest scenes and the scenes in Athens was excellently planned to allow space for movement and to avoid distracting the audience with over-ambitious trees and foliage.

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Category: Theatre