Shakespeare

How Shakespeare became ‘problematic’

4 September 2021 9:00 am

‘This crossword is problematic!’ exclaimed my husband, tossing aside the folded newspaper marked with a ring where his whisky glass…

The history of the Theatre Royal Drury Lane is the theatrical history of England

7 August 2021 9:00 am

The newly renovated Theatre Royal Drury Lane has seen it all and staged it all, says Robert Gore-Langton

A shrill, ugly, tasteless muddle: Romeo & Juliet reviewed

17 July 2021 9:00 am

What shall we destroy next? Romeo & Julietseems a promising target and the Globe has set out to vandalise Shakespeare’s…

A Shakespeare play at the Globe whose best features have nothing to do with Shakespeare

5 June 2021 9:00 am

Back to the Globe after more than a year. The theatre has zealously maintained its pre–Covid staffing levels. On press…

The problem with decolonising Shakespeare

22 May 2021 9:00 am

Scarcely a day passes without a major British institution announcing it is ‘decolonising’ itself. Most recently it was the turn…

Shakespeare didn’t need to know the difference between ‘its’ and ‘it’s’

15 May 2021 9:00 am

An item on the BBC news site didn’t mean what it said: ‘The latest move is part of a wider…

Is it time to cancel Sophocles?

27 February 2021 9:00 am

Gstaad The sun has returned, the snow is so-so, and exercise has replaced everything, including romance. What a way to…

As an essay in cheap comedy the show is a great success: Emilia reviewed

21 November 2020 9:00 am

Emilia is a period piece about Emilia Bassano who may have been the ‘dark lady’ of Shakespeare’s sonnets. The writer,…

Edinburgh Festival is in ruins – but there's one gem amid the rubble

29 August 2020 9:00 am

The virus has broken Edinburgh. The shattered remnants of the festival are visible on the internet. Here’s what happened. The…

RSC’s Merchant of Venice is full of puzzling ornaments and accents

25 July 2020 9:00 am

The BBC announces Merchant of Venice as if it were a Hollywood blockbuster. ‘In the melting pot of Venice, trade…

Not even a genius could make Much Ado About Nothing funny

11 July 2020 9:00 am

The RSC’s 2014 version of Much Ado is breathtaking to look at. Sets, lighting and costumes are exquisitely done, even…

As a lyricist, Ian Dury had few equals in the 20th century

13 June 2020 9:00 am

The National Theatre’s programme of livestreamed shows continues with the Donmar’s 2014 production of Coriolanus starring Tom Hiddleston. The play…

So good and so raw that avoiding it might be the wisest course: Sea Wall reviewed

6 June 2020 9:00 am

Sea Wall, by Simon Stephens, is a half-hour monologue about grief performed by Andrew Scott. The YouTube clip has been…

The best Macbeths to watch online

23 May 2020 9:00 am

The world’s greatest playwright ought to be dynamite at the movies. But it’s notoriously hard to turn a profit from…

The National Theatre’s live-streaming policy is bizarre

16 May 2020 9:00 am

The National’s bizarre livestreaming service continues. On 7 May, for one week only, it released a modern-dress version of Antony…

The best theatre of the 21st century

25 April 2020 9:00 am

Not looking great, is it? Until we all get jabbed, theatres may have to stay closed. And even the optimists…

I've lost patience with podcasts and their presenters

24 April 2020 11:00 pm

‘To be recognised and accepted by a peregrine,’ wrote J.A. Baker in 1967, ‘you must wear the same clothes, travel…

His son’s death may have inspired some of Shakespeare’s greatest lines, but he never recovered from the loss

4 April 2020 9:00 am

Maggie O’Farrell is much possessed by death. Her first novel, After You’d Gone (2000), chronicled the inner life of a…

Michael Morpurgo: Kale smoothies, writing, Pilates – my strict isolation schedule

28 March 2020 9:00 am

Writers like me are used to long hours alone. I’ve never enjoyed that side of it. I don’t like the…

War and plague have menaced theatres before, but rarely on this scale

28 March 2020 9:00 am

War and plague have menaced theatres before, but rarely on this scale, says Lloyd Evans

Comedy gold: The Upstart Crow at the Gielgud Theatre reviewed

29 February 2020 9:00 am

A Moorish princess shipwrecked on the English coast disguises herself as a boy to protect her virtue. Arriving in London,…

People expecting punishment won’t be disappointed: Almeida’s Duchess of Malfi reviewed

18 January 2020 9:00 am

The Duchess of Malfi is one of those classics that everyone knows by name but not many have witnessed on…

All the world’s a stage: this election has echoes of Shakespeare and Dickens

14 December 2019 9:00 am

The Christmas election has unfolded like a series of mini-dramas from panto, Dickens and other popular classics. Boris has come…

‘The only place I can’t get my plays on is Britain’: Sir Peter Brook interviewed

2 November 2019 9:00 am

‘Everyone of us knows we deserve to be punished,’ says the frail old man before me in a hotel café.…

When did English A-level become a science?

24 August 2019 9:00 am

Now that my youngest has got her A-level grades, I’m finally free to say just how much I have loathed…