Posts Tagged ‘Cardiff’

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Thomas Tyrrell review of The Merchant of Venice in Cardiff

July 4, 2018

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Review from Thomas Tyrrell that first appeared in Wales Arts Review:

Everyman | Cardiff Open-Air Theatre Festival, 2018

The plots of many of Shakespeare’s comedies work better if you assume the characters are drunk most of the time. Joss Whedon’s film of Much Ado About Nothing (2013) did this well, setting the play at a boozy Californian house party, but Everyman Theatre’s The Merchant of Venice takes it to the next level, taking the play to the high-octane, high finance, high-as-a-kite world of the 80s, where women with big hair and men with ludicrous lapels snort cocaine and gulp down Quaaludes in vast quantities. Think Wolf of Wall Street does Shakespeare, and you won’t be far off.

The sets, like the decade, are not exactly subtle. On one side of the stage, Portia’s Palazzo, the Belmont, is rendered as a gloriously tacky cocktail bar. On the other, a wall-sized image of argosies and galleons sailing between corporate megaliths reinforces the melding of two great ages of trade and finance. Badly-placed microphones mean that every squeak of the actor’s shoes is sometimes wincingly amplified, but the sight of the full moon rising behind the treetop backdrop of the outdoor theatre didn’t fail to cast a little magic over the scene.

Read the rest of the review.

 

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The Merchant of Venice in Cardiff this week @everymancdf

June 24, 2018

 

Everyman Theatre are back this summer at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff, until Sat 30th June.

Shakespeare’s Comedy of Love, Sex, Power and Revenge.

Money!  Portia has it, Bassanio wants it, Shylock loans it, Antonio borrows it.  But what happens when the Merchant must sacrifice his own flesh for the friend he loves?

Find out more

Read past reviews from Cardiff Shakespeare.

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British Sign Language at Shakespeare’s Globe

June 5, 2018
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Nadia Nadarajah as Celia and Jack Laskey as Rosalind in As You Like It at Shakespeare’s Globe. Image credit: Tristram Kenton

Having recently watched A Midsummer Night’s Dream performed in German by the Deutsches Nationaltheater, and Pericles staged in French by Cheek by Jowl, it was something of a novelty to see As You Like It performed in English at Shakespeare’s Globe last month. I was there with a group of English Literature undergraduates from Cardiff University, which felt nicely appropriate given that the play is one of the Globe’s opening productions under the new artistic directorship of Michelle Terry, herself an English Literature alumna from Cardiff University. I say this was an English language performance of As You Like It, but it would perhaps be more accurate to call it a bilingual production, on account of the inspired casting of the wonderful Deaf actor Nadia Nadarajah and the interweaving of British Sign Language with Shakespeare’s text. Michelle Terry has said that diversity is an important part of her artistic vision for the Globe, and she has shown her commitment to gender blind, race blind and disability blind casting. And yet, the integration of British Sign Language into the Globe’s As You Like It was so effective that it went beyond questions of access and inclusivity, instead becoming an integral part of the performance.

Written and first performed around the year 1599, Shakespeare’s As You Like It features Rosalind, daughter of the exiled Duke, who falls in love with Orlando. Banished from her usurping uncle’s court, she disguises herself as a boy and escapes into the pastoral Forest of Arden with her cousin, Celia, and Touchstone, the clown. In the Globe production, Nadia Nadarajah takes the role of Celia, and Rosalind is played brilliantly by Jack Laskey. In Shakespeare’s play, the loving rapport between the two female cousins who have grown up together since childhood is established from the very beginning, and is integral to the plot. In the Globe production, this sisterly relationship has new life breathed into it through the wordless intimacy of British Sign Language. It is not the first time that the Globe has translated Shakespeare into British Sign Language. In 2012, Love’s Labour’s Lost was performed by Deafinitely Theatre, the UK’s leading Deaf theatre company, as part of a festival designed to celebrate Shakespeare across linguistic borders. The Artistic Director and co-founder of Deafinitely Theatre, Paula Garfield, has written eloquently about the challenges of translating Shakespeare into British Sign Language.

In the 2012 production, Nadia Nadarajah played the Princess of France, and she is equally mesmerising in As You Like It as Rosalind’s companion, Celia. Both her facial expressions and body language are immensely expressive, and there was plenty of laughter from the audience at the physical comedy of translating Shakespeare into visual metaphors. But it is the relationship between Nadarajah’s Celia and Laskey’s Rosalind that is at the emotional heart of this production. Their rapid exchanges in British Sign Language are incredibly moving and speak volumes as to the intuitive closeness of their rapport. By incorporating British Sign Language into the performance, Shakespeare’s Globe’s As You Like It also enriches many of the play’s other themes. This is after all a play which explores the means and limitations of social communication. Indeed, from Orlando’s shy inability to speak to Rosalind after the wrestling tournament, to the ridiculous love poetry he later hangs on the trees in the Forest of Arden, the figures on stage are often to be found grappling with the difficulties of meaningful interaction. Yet, in spite of the many complications, As You Like It also presents us with striking examples of identification and sympathy across boundaries. In the forest, for instance, the melancholy Jacques weeps with pity over the hunted deer, while the exiled Duke offers Adam and Orlando the unquestioning hospitality that they have been denied at court. More than other productions of the play that I have seen, the Globe’s As You Like It encourages its audience members to reflect critically on speech and silence, and how we express ourselves in different ways, and surely this can only be a good thing.

Dr Sophie Emma Battell teaches English Literature at Cardiff University. She is currently working on a monograph on hospitality in Shakespeare’s theatre.

 

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Richard III Redux: Save the date

February 3, 2018

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An exciting production touring Wales this March will be a new take on Shakespeare’s Richard III. The production asks:

In this reimagining of Shakespeare’s Richard III, how does the story change, the character change, the body change, the acting change, when explored by a disabled actress with deadly comic timing and a dislike of horses? How do previous star vehicle Richards measure up to this reimagined Richard?

Follow Sara Beer and Kaite O’Reilly on twitter for more, and visit Kaite’s blog here. For the Cardiff Shakespeare review of Richard III at the Royal Welsh College last year, see here. On ‘Richard III and staging disability’, visit the British Library website here. Those with access to English Studies can also view a recent article on Richard III and ‘Performing Disability’ (Let me know if you don’t have access but would like to read it @DrJ_Gregory).

 

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Shakespeare’s Richard III: @RWCMD Cardiff

September 25, 2017

The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama consistently provide thought-provoking and engaging stagings of Shakespeare’s plays – well worth going to check this out:

Thursday 19 October – Saturday 28 October 7.15pm
Matinee Wednesday 25 October 2.30pm
No performances Sun & Mon
BSL interpreted performance on Saturday 28 October. Interpreted by Julie Doyle.

by William Shakespeare
Directed by Joe Murphy

My conscience hath a thousand several tongues,
And every tongue brings in a several tale,
And every tale condemns me for a villain. 

Named the most fascinating historical figure in a poll last year of British historians and the public, Richard III continues to provoke debate. Shakespeare’s brutal play portrays him as a ruthless, power hungry villain, who will stop at nothing to gain the throne occupied by his brother.

Venue: Richard Burton Theatre

Tickets: £13, £11 concessions, Under 25s £6

Find out more

 

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Shakespeare performances in Cardiff and nearby this summer

June 30, 2017

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There seems to be so much Shakespeare lined up for the summer it’s difficult to keep track. However, I’m going to have a quick look about and see what I can collect together here. Please let me know if I’ve missed anything and I can add it.

We don’t have anyone lined up to review these, so if you are interested please get in touch with me.

Some of the productions detailed below are playing elsewhere and fairly nearby too. Just follow the links on the play titles to find out more.

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Wednesday 5 July A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Ballet Cymru at Grand Pavilion, Porthcawl

Wednesday 5 July The Tempest
Taking Flight Theatre Production in Newport (2pm and 7pm)

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Thursday & Friday, 6-7 July The Comedy of Errors
The Lord Chamberlain’s Men at Cardiff Castle (Gates open 6.30pm)

Friday 7 July The Merry Wives of Windsor
The Festival Players at Caerleon Amphitheater, near Newport (7.30pm)

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Thursday & Friday 13-14 July Richard III
Showcase Performing Arts at Redhouse, Merthyr Tydfil (7pm)

Friday 14 July The Taming of the Shrew
Heartbreak Productions at Chepstow Castle (7.30pm)

Saturday 15 July A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Fringe Theatre Festival, YMCA, Cardiff (2-3pm)

Sunday 23 July Twelfth Night
Everyman Youth production in Sophia Gardens, Cardiff (7.30pm)

20-29 July Macbeth
Everyman production in Sophia Gardens, Cardiff (Saturday at 3pm, and otherwise 8pm; no Sundays)

Saturday 29 July The Tempest
Taking Flight Theatre Production in Cardiff (Noon)

Sunday 30 July The Tempest
Taking Flight Theatre Production in Penarth (4pm)

 

Illyria TheatreSaturday 5 August The Comedy of Errors
Illyria production in Abergavenny (7pm)

Join our Cardiff Shakespeare Facebook group here.

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Taking Flight Theatre @takingflightco : The Tempest

June 8, 2017

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Taking Flight Theatre return, this time with their unique take on Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

Join the Magic Staff Liner Corporation and indulge yourself with a jaunt on the newest addition to their fleet- their number one luxury ocean liner, The Remembrance.  Let their crew take care of your every worry, your every woe on their 10 year anniversary cruise to the Island that Time Forgot.

Expect lots of laughs, physical comedy, live original music and most of all expect the unexpected.

This performance has live integrated BSL interpretation and audio description. Touch tours and BSL introductions are available by arrangement- please contact beth@takingflighttheatre.co.uk or on 07785 947823 to discuss this, or any other access requirement.

This is an outdoor performance so please wrap up warm and bring your brolly/sun cream/blanket/travel chair!

Performance dates: 

Thursday 8th, Friday 9th, Saturday 10th performances in Thompson’s Park. Audience to meet at the Romilly Road entrance.

Sunday 18th performance in Roath Park. Audience to meet at the conservatory entrance.

Read our review of last year’s Shakespeare production.

Visit the Taking Flight website, book tickets, and find out about their performances outside of Cardiff too.

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