May 23rd, 2012 – It really is all about the Bard this year as we remember the world’s greatest playwright, William Shakespeare, 400 years after his death.
Here in the UK The World Shakespeare Festival, in partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon, celebrates by welcoming artists from all over the globe performing their own unique takes on Shakespeare.
Here in London we are being treated to a plethera of classic Shakespeare many being performed at Shakespeare’s Globe, others at the Roundhouse in Camden and five of them in the West End – the heart of London’s Theatreland.
First up and bound to be the most sought after ticket in London this Fall is Richard III & Twelfth Night running in rep at the Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Ave between 2nd November 2012 and 3rd February 2013. Performed as it would have been in the 1600s, an all-male cast is led by award winning actor Mark Rylance who plays the scheming and murderous Duke of York in Richard III along with the role of Olivia in Twelfthe Night – a play of unrequitted love and vengeful comedy. There’s also the added bonus of international actor, social commentator and comedian, Stephen Fry, as pompous steward Malvolio.
Our next recommendation is a seat at The Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park which is an ideal setting to watch A Midsummer Night’s Dream with romance, comedy & fairy magic. Speaking from past experience, you really will believe in fairies as dusk falls and the actors emerge from the trees. It is an experience not to be missed by any visitor to London during the summer. Performances are Monday to Saturday from 2nd July to 5th September 2012.
Another production not to be missed in London is director Iqbal Khan’s Indian themed Much Ado About Nothing which is at the Novello Theatre, St Martin’s Lane from 22nd September to 27th Ocotber 2012. It stars award winning British actress, screenwriter and comedienne Meera Syal as the argumentative Beatrice playing opposite Paul Bhattacharjee’s Benedick. This is a play full of suppressed love, wicked sarcasm and treacherous deceit.
Our final recommendation is Timon of Athens at the Olivier Theatre on the South Bank performing for a very limited run between 5th August and 9th September 2012. Simon Russell Beale takes the title role in this modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s strange fable of conspicuous consumption, debt and ruin, written in collaboration with Thomas Middleton.
For more information on these productions and how to book a theatre break go to http://www.theatrebreaks.com/shakespeare-in-london.aspx