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Shakespeare in Performance

Current and Forthcoming Shakespeare Productions in the UK

  January 2017 onwards

All the productions that we know about from the current month onwards are included in this list.

New indicates that a production has been added to the list this month.

indicates that the information has been changed or expanded this month.

[A] indicates an amateur production.
[P] indicates a professional production.

All's Well That Ends Well

Antony and Cleopatra

Royal Shakespeare Company. Directed by Iqbal Khan. Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, 11 March – 7 September 2017 (01789 403493) [P]

As You Like It

Theatre By The Lake and Shared Experience. The Theatre By The Lake, Keswick, 7 July – 4 November (017687 74411) [P]

Comedy of Errors


Directed by Gareth Nicholls. The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (formerly Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD)), Glasgow, 27 January – 1 February (0141 332 5057) [A]


Royal Shakespeare Company. Directed by Melly Still. Barbican Theatre, London, 31 October – 23 December (0845 120 7550) [P]


VML Drama Company. Brindley Arts Centre, Runcorn, 25 – 28 January (0151 907 8360) [P]

Almeida Theatre. Directed by Robert Icke. Andrew Scott (Hamlet), Juliet Stevenson (Gertrude). 17 February – 8 April (020 7359 4404) Booking opens 8 September. [P]


Hamlet (opera) by Brett Dean. Glyndebourne Theatre Company. Libretto by Matthew Jocelyn, directed by Neil Armfield. Glyndebourne, Lewes, 11 June – 6 July and 21 – 27 October (01273 815000); Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury, 3 November; Theatre Royal, Norwich, 17 November; Milton Keynes Theatre, 24 November; Theatre Royal, Plymouth, 1 December. [P]

Icarus Theatre Collective. Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield, 17 January (01484 430528); Buxton Opera House, Buxton, dates tbc (0845 1272190); Millennium Forum, Derry, 26 – 27 January (028 7126 4455); Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin, 31 January – 4 February (+353 1 677 7770); Riverside Theatre, Coleraine, 8 February (028 7032 3232); Glór, Ennis, 16 – 17 February (+353 65 684 3103); Milldield Theatre, London, 22 – 23 February (0208 8076680); Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy, 20 – 21 March (01592 583302); Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling, 22 March (01786 466666); Hawth Theatre, Crawley, 29 – 30 March (01293 553636); Kings Theatre, Southsea, 3 – 4 April (02392 828282). Blending traditional and physical theatre with a musical score, Icarus Theatre Collective return to bring to life some of literature’s most vibrant language and characters in Shakespeare’s boldest, most exciting and action-packed tragedy. [P]

The Lion King. Book by Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi. Music by Elton John, Tim Rice, Lebo M, Julie Taymor, Mark Mancina, and Hans Zimmer. Walt Disney Company. Directed by Julie Taymor. Lyceum Theatre, London, 24 September 1999 – (0870 243 9000); “A young lion grows up and learns that taking over the pride requires wisdom and maturity. Simba is the young lion, his wicked uncle is Scar and his father, killed by his uncle, is King Mustafa.” [P]

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard. Directed by David Leveaux. The Old Vic Theatre, London, 25 February - 29 April 2017 (0844 871 7628). [P]

Henry IV, pt.1

Henry IV, pt.2

Henry V

Antic Disposition. Directed by Ben Horslen and John Risebero. Southwark Cathedral, London, 2 – 3 February; Beverley Minster, East Yorkshire, 7 – 8 February; Ripon Cathedral, North Yorkshire, 9 February; Southwell Minster, Nottinghamshire, 10 – 11 February; Lincoln Cathedral, Lincoln, 13 – 14 February; Peterborough Cathedral, Peterborough, 15 February; Ely Cathedral, Ely, 16 – 17 February; Norwich Cathedral, Norwich, 18 February; Southwark Cathedral, London, 21 – 22 February. Phone (for all venues): 0333 666 3366 [P]


Henry V (Man and Monarch). Directed by Philip Parr. Brett Brown (Henry V). Theatre Royal, York, 19 – 20 May (01904 623 568). In a bold one-man adaptation of the classic play, award winning Australian actor Brett Brown, plays Shakespeare’s hero king, from his reckless youth, to his coronation, to his victory on the battle field of Agincourt, as he balances the creation of a power base through military authority at Agincourt, with the loss of camaraderie with the common man. [P]

Henry VI, pt 1

Henry VI, pt 2

Henry VI, pt 3

Henry VIII

Julius Caesar

Guildford Shakespeare Company. Holy Trinity Church, Guildford, 4 – 25 February (01483 304384) [P]

Royal Shakespeare Company. Directed by Angus Jackson. Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, 3 March – 9 September 2017 (01789 403493) [P]

Directed by Robert Hastie. Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, 17 May – 10 June 2017 (0114 249 6000) [P]

King John

King Lear

Directed by Nancy Meckler. Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, London, 10 August – 14 October 2017 (020 7401 9919) [P]


Primary Shakespeare – King Lear. Orange Tree Theatre, London, 13 May – 10 June 2017 (020 8940 3633). 4 actors performing an abridged version for children. [P]

Love's Labour's Lost

Royal Shakespeare Company in collaboration with Chichester Festival Theatre. Directed by Christopher Luscombe. Edward Bennett (Berowne).  Theatre Royal Haymarket, London, 9 December – 18 March 2017 (0845 481 1870). [P]


The AC Group. Jack Studio Theatre (previously Brockley Studio Theatre), London, 4 – 22 April (020 8291 6354) [P]


Splendid Productions. Blake Theatre, Monmouth, 8 February (01600 719 401); Quarry Theatre, Bedford, 7 March (01234 362335); Waterside Arts Centre, Sale, 17 March (0161 912 5616). An hour long creative adaptation of Macbeth. A dagger-sharp cast of three take down Shakespeare’s classic tale of ambition, betrayal, murder and manipulation in a boiling hell-broth of tragedy, comedy, physical theatre and song. [P]

Directed by Ian Wooldridge. The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (formerly Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD)), Glasgow, 18 – 21 January (0141 332 5057). A bloody, all female, tale of the original killer couple, the Macbeths, who murder their way to the Scottish throne. Rapid political advancement and naked ambition at its most ruthless and destructive, while ghosts, witches and walking woodland provide a backdrop to the rise and fall of two of Shakespeare’s most flawed characters. [A]

Macbeth – Shakespeare for younger audiences. Dorfman Theatre (National Theatre, London, 6 – 20 February (020 7452 3000). 7 actors. [P]

The Macbeths by Alexander Raptotasios and Manolis Tsiipos. Pleasance, London, 18 – 30 April (020 7609 1800). The Macbeths are hosting a dinner party. There will be food, drinks and karaoke, because enjoying yourself is always important, and entertainment is at the heart of every tragedy. But someone always has to pay in the end. Set as an immersive dinner party with karaoke, this new take on Shakespeare’s classic tragedy is exploring how we consume violence as spectators and when we switch our empathy “on”. Comedy, tragedy, disco and a lot of food will mix together as the dead are leaving the stage and joining the auditorium. You have nothing to worry about. You do not have to do anything. You can just watch. Have a drink and a snack or two. [P]

Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett. Adapted by Stephen Briggs. Bolton Little Theatre, 6 – 11 March 2017 (01204 334 400). [A]

Measure for Measure

The Merchant of Venice


The Merchant of Venice (opera) by André Tchaikowsky. Welsh National Opera. Royal Opera House, London, 19 – 20 July (020 7304 4000)  [P]

Gratiano: Grist to the Mill. Written and performed by Ross Ericson. Studio, York Theatre Royal, 18 May (01904 623568) [P]

Merry Wives of Windsor

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Directed by Joe Hill-Gibbins. The Young Vic, London, 16 February – 1 April (020 7922 2922) [P]

Act One
(The Yvonne Arnaud Youth Theatre). Directed by Lucy Betts. Mill Studio (Yvonne Arnaud Theatre), Guildford, 30 March – 1 April (01224 620 011) [A]

NK Theatre Arts. The Forum Theatre (also Romiley Forum), Stockport, 24 – 27 May (0161 430 6570) [A]

Elsham Barn Theatre, Brigg, 20 August 2017 (01652 688 955) [A]


The Dream (ballet). Choreographed by Frederick Ashton. Music by Felix Mendelssohn. Royal Opera House, London, 2 – 10 June 2017 (020 7304 4000). Part of a triple bill in tribute to Frederick Ashton. [P]

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (opera) by Benjamin Britten. Durham Opera Ensemble. Gala Theatre, Durham, 17 – 18 February (0191 332 4041) [P]

Thisbe by Samantha Sutherland. Door Ajar Theatre Company. Theatre Royal, Stratford East, 21 – 25 February (020 8534 0310); Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC), Aberdeen, 10 March (01224 620 011); Theatre Royal, York, 21 – 22 March (01904 623 568). ‘The course of true love never did run smooth’ the daughter of Helena and Demetrius discovers there was never a truer word spoken in this actor-musician follow up to Shakespeare's popular comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  Fourteen years have passed since the fateful night Thisbe’s parents, Helena and Demetrius, were lost in the woods. The only thing they remember is waking up completely in love with one another. But as their love becomes obsession, where does this leave their neglected and confused daughter, Thisbe? Cue the prankster Puck and his fairy flunkeys who love nothing more than to meddle with the mortal world. With the promise of solving all of her problems, they lure Thisbe into the woods where it isn’t long before she finds herself embroiled in their roguery.  Intoxicated with magic and adventure, has Thisbe gone too far this time? Can she stop her family falling apart? And does she even want to? [P]

Much Ado About Nothing

Love’s Labour’s Won or Much Ado About Nothing. Royal Shakespeare Company in collaboration with Chichester Festival Theatre. Directed by Christopher Luscombe. Edward Bennett (Benedick). Theatre Royal Haymarket, London, 9 December – 18 March 2017 (0845 481 1870).  [P]

Directed by Matthew Dunster. Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, London, 14 July – 15 October (020 7401 9919) [P]


Shit-Faced Shakespeare – Much Ado about Nothing. Leicester Square Theatre, London, 11 April – 16 September (08448 733433). The smash-hit, internationally acclaimed, award-winning, multi sell-out fringe phenomenon is back in London with a new show for 2017: Much Ado About Nothing. Shit-faced Shakespeare is the hilarious combination of an entirely serious adaptation of a Shakespearian classic with a single, entirely shit-faced cast member. With one cast member selected at random and given four hours to drink before every show we present to you classical theatre as it was always meant to be seen. With a gin in one hand, a cup of wine in the other and a flagon of ale in the other... What could go wrong? https://leicestersquaretheatre   [P]


Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory. Directed by Richard Twyman. The Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol, 16 February – 1 April (0117 902 0344) [P]

Shakespeare’s Globe. Directed by Ellen McDougall. Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, London, 23 February – 16 April (020 7401 9919)  [P]

SISATA. Bread and Roses, London, 22 – 24 June (020 7498 1779) [P]


Otello (opera). Directed by Keith Warner. Royal Opera House, London, 21 June  – 15 July (020 7304 4000). [P]

Waiting for Othello. Directed by Jan Naturski. Studio, York Theatre Royal, 17 – 18 May (01904 623568). Two half-African, half-European actors meet, at auditions for the role of Othello.. Both are children of immigrants, and both are looking for their identity - split between two continents and cultures. When is the colour of our skin a problem? And when it is an advantage? The answer is hard to define - as hard as the role of Othello, which for our characters is a dream, but also a curse. [P]


Richard II

Richard III

Schaubühne Berlin. Directed by Thomas Ostermeier. Barbican Theatre, London, 16 – 19 February (020 7638 8891). In German with English surtitles. [P]

Romeo and Juliet

West Yorkshire Playhouse. Directed by Amy Leach. Quarry Theatre, WYP, Leeds, 3 – 25 March (0113 213 7700) [P]

Studio 2, Theatr Clwyd, Mold. 6 – 8 April (01352 701521). [P]

Directed Daniel Kramer. Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, London, 22 April – 9 July (020 7401 9919)  [P]

Directed by Paul Hart. Watermill Theatre, Newbury, 10 May – 22 July (01635 46044); Theatre Royal, York, 16 – 20 May (01904 623 568); Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, 24 – 27 May (01483 440 000) [P]

Everyman Company. Directed by Nick Bagnall. Everyman & Playhouse, Liverpool, 27 May – 7 June (0151 709 4776) [P]


Romeo and Juliet (ballet). Moscow City Ballet. Chichester Festival Theatre, Chichester, 3 – 4 January (01243 781 312); Richmond Theatre, London, 18 – 22 January (0870 060 6651) [P]

Romeo and Juliet (ballet). Ballet Theatre UK. Pomegranate Theatre, Chesterfield, 12 January (01246 345 222) [P]

I Capuleti e i Montecchi (The Capulets and Montagues) by Vencenzo Bellini (opera). Popup Opera. Off Quay, London, 7 March; Shelley Theatre, Bournemouth, 11 March; Teignmouth Classical Music Festival, Devon, 12 March; Spirella Ballroom, Letchworth, 18 March; The vaults, London, 20 – 23 March; Black Mountains Barns, Hereford, 25 March; Hillside Brewery, Gloucestershire, 26 March; The Asylum, London, 2 April; Brunel Museum, Thames Tunnel Shaft, London, 4 – 5 April, West Wight Association 70th Anniversary, Freshwater, Isle of Wight, 8 April [P]

A Village Romeo and Juliet (opera). New Sussex Opera. Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne, 2 April (01323 412 000). In this dark re-telling of Shakespeare’s play, childhood sweethearts Vrenchen and Sali are torn apart by their fathers’ feuding over land owned by the mysterious Dark Fiddler, who predicts revenge on anyone who tries to claim this wilderness. [P]

Oddsocks Romeo and Juliet - Mods v Rockers. Oddsocks Theatre Company. Guildhall Theatre, Derby, 14 - 16 June (01332 255 800); Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, 20 – 22 June (024 7655 3055); Penlee Park Open Air Theatre, Penzance, 26 August (01726 879 500). Oddsocks are delighted to be breathing new life into Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet by giving it a musical Mods & Rockers theme. There's Nowhere to Run for the Capulets and Montagues as violent confrontation stalks every meeting, even Down at the Tube Station at Midnight. Meanwhile, Juliet's Nurse is looking forward to a good old Twist and Shout at the Capulet party, which Romeo's mates are planning to gatecrash. Romeo has doubts about going to the Capulet Nite Klub but that is where he meets his Juliet, and It Must Be Love. Maybe, just maybe, The Power of Love will end the families' violent feud. [P]

Romeo and Juliet - Merely: Romeo and Juliet. Merely Theatre Company (in association with The Production Exchange). Greenwich Theatre, London, 19 – 22 April (020 8858 7755). Merely present young love in all its raw and savage beauty, driving through action-packed thrills and tender intimacy to crushing loss. Five actors blast the company’s signature style of urgency, humour and clarity to conjure a stirring, visceral theatrical experience. [P]

Romeo and Juliet – Shakespeare for younger audiences. Stratford Circus, London, 18 January – 1 February (0844 357 2625); Dorfman Theatre (National Theatre, London, 11 – 24 February (020 7452 3000). Set against a vibrant urban backdrop bursting full of excitement, colour, dancing and live song, a company of eight recreate the most famous love story of all time. [P]

Romeo and Juliet - The Timeless Tale Reimagined By A Cast Of Five. Actors from the London Stage. Cockpit Theatre, London, 2 – 3 April (020 7258 2925). [P]

West Side Story. Music: Leonard Bernstein. Bord Gais Energy Theatre (formerly Grand Canal Theatre), Dublin, 18 – 21 January (0818 719 377) [A]

West Side Story. Music: Leonard Bernstein. Northern Stage (previously known as Newcastle Haymarket Playhouse), Newcastle upon Tyne, 19 – 21 January (0191 230 5151) [A]

West Side Story. Music: Leonard Bernstein. New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham, 23 – 26 August (0844 847 2302) [A]

The Taming of the Shrew


Get Over It Productions. The Cockpit Theatre London, 23 – 27 January (020 7258 2925); Bread and Roses Theatre, London, 21 – 25 February (020 7498 1779). Set in 1989 at the height of the rave culture this promises to be a Shrew like no other. An all-female ensemble presenting productions steeped in the traditions of physical theatre and the avant-garde. [P]

The Tempest

Royal Shakespeare Company. Directed by Gregory Doran. Simon Russell Beale (Prospero). Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, 8 November – 21 January (01789 403493); Gala Theatre, Durham, 3 February (0191 332 4041); Barbican Centre, London, 30 June – 18 August (0845 120 7550) [P]


The Salon Collective. The Cockpit Theatre, London, 11 December – 15 January (020 7258 2925). Performed using ‘cue script’ preparation in the style of the Bard’s own actors. This seat-of-the-pants approach to Shakespeare takes the audience on a journey of discovery with the actors as they live the play for the first time, moment to moment. [P]

Royal Shakespeare Company. Edited and directed by Aileen Gonsalves. Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, 3 – 4 February; York Theatre Royal, 9 – 10 February; New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme, 15 February; Grand Theatre, Blackpool, 2 – 4 March; Intermission Theatre, London, 17 – 18 March; Studio Theatre, The Other Place, Stratford-upon-Avon, 23 – 25 March. For 8 – 13 year olds. [P]

The Young Shakespeare Company. Blackpool Grand Theatre, Blackpool, 2 – 4 March (01253 290 190). The Young Shakespeare Company’s 90 minute production is specifically adapted for primary school audiences, combining comedy, drama and live music in a fast moving and accessible production. Shakespeare’s words are brought to life with great clarity and energy by the company’s experienced professional actors, making this an unforgettable theatre-going experience for young children. [A]

Timon of Athens

Titus Andronicus

Royal Shakespeare Company. Directed by Blanche McIntyre. Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, 23 June – 2 September (01789 403493) [P]

Troilus and Cressida

Twelfth Night

Chipstead Players. Directed by Sarah Branston. The Courtyard Theatre, London, 5 – 14 January (01737 555680) [P]

Directed by Paul Hart. Watermill Theatre, Newbury, 6 April – 6 May (01635 46044); Theatre Royal, York, 18 – 20 May (01904 623 568); Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, 23 – 27 May (01483 440 000); Playhouse, Salisbury, 20 – 24 June (01722 320 333);

Watermill Theatre, Newbury, 18 – 22 July (01635 46044). Reimagined in the 1920s where prohibition is rife and Europe is still reeling in the wake of war, this brand new production bursts to life. Fuelled by a scintillating selection of energetic jazz music, an outstanding ensemble of actors creates a dizzying and beautiful version of Shakespeare’s perfect play. The radical spirit of Duke Ellington, Django Reinhardt, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong is fused with an innovative approach to staging and actor-musicianship to tell this timeless story of mistaken identities, seduction and transformation, balancing comedy, romance and tragedy in equal measure. [P]

Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, 13 April – 20 May (
0161 833 9833). Directed by Jo Davies. [P]

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, London, 18 May – 5 August 2017 (020 7401 9919)  [P]


Civil Brawl Theatre Company. The View, Stratford-upon-Avon, 12 – 15 and 17 - 21 January (0783 7586597). Modern day setting. [P]

National Theatre. Directed by Simon Godwin. Tamsin Greig (Malvolia). Olivier (National Theatre), London, from 14 February (020 7452 3000). [P]

Merely Theatre (in association with the Production Exchange). Greenwich Theatre, London, 18 – 22 April (020 8858 7755). 5 actors.  [P]

Shakespeare Up Close. Directed by Alex Thorpe. Orange Tree Theatre, London, 18 – 26 March (020 8940 3633). In 90 minutes, 6 actors bring Shakespeare’s darkest comedy to life in a mischievous, feisty and fast paced production. [P]

The Two Gentlemen of Verona

The Two Noble Kinsmen

Royal Shakespeare Company. Directed by Blanche McIntyre. Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, 17 August – 7 February (01789 403493)  [P]

The Winter’s Tale

Cheek by Jowl Theatre Company. Directed by Declan Donnellan. Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, 24 – 28 January (0141 429 0022); Arts Theatre, Cambridge, 31 January – 4 February (01223 503 333); Theatre Royal, Bath, 22 – 25 February (01225 448844); The Playhouse, Oxford, 28 February – 4 March (01865 305 305); Warwick Arts Centre, 7 – 11 March (024 7652 4524); Mercury Theatre, Colchester, 14 – 18 March (01206 573948); Theatr Clwyd, Mold, 21 – 25 March (01352 701521); Barbican Theatre, London, 5 – 22 April (020 7638 8891); Bristol Old Vic, Bristol, 25 – 29 April (0117 987 7877)'s_tale.php#calendar [P]

Directed by Max Webster. Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, 10 February – 4 March 2017 (0131 248 4848) [P]


The Winter’s Tale (opera). English National Opera. Directed by Rory Kinnear. London Coliseum, London, 27 February – 14 March 2017 (020 7632 8300) [P]

Poems and Apocrypha

Venus and Adonis. Royal Shakespeare Company. Directed by Gregory Doran. Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, 26 July – 4 August (01789 403493) [P]

(in alphabetical order)

All the World’s a Stage. Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, 12 January (01483 440 000). All the World’s a Stage is a sparkling and witty entertainment, exploring the pleasures and pitfalls of rehearsing, performing and interpreting Shakespeare’s plays. The evening includes personal insights, favourite pieces, sonnets, portraits of great actors past and present, outspoken critical responses to the Bard by other writers, plus a wealth of wonderful, irreverent theatrical stories. Also featured is a lively mixture of reminiscence, readings and songs from plays as diverse as Julius Caesar, The Merchant of Venice, Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cymbeline, Macbeth, Henry V, The Tempest and As You Like It. A short Q&A will conclude the evening. [P]

The Complete Deaths. Spymonkey. Directed by Tim Crouch. Minerva Theatre, Chichester 14 – 18 February (01243 781312). Four actors perform all 74 of Shakespeare’s onstage death scenes. [P]

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) by Adam Long., Daniel Singer, Jess Winfield and Reed Martin. Chorley Little Theatre, Chorley, 24 – 29 April (01257 275 123). All 37 Plays in 97 Minutes! An irreverent, fast-paced romp through the Bard’s plays. Join three madcap men in tights as they weave their wicked way through all of Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories and Tragedies in one wild ride that will leave you breathless and helpless with laughter. [P]

The History of Cardenio by William Shakespeare, John Fletcher and Gary Taylor. Richmond Shakespeare Society and Cutpurse. Directed by Gerald Baker. Mary Wallace Theatre, Twickenham, 18 – 25 March (020 8744 0547 10am – 7pm only). [A]

Roman Tragedies. Toneelgroep Theatre Company. Directed by Ivo van Hove. Barbican Theatre, London, 17 – 19 March (0845 120 7550). Ivo van Hove’s epic is ‘one of the most audacious Shakespeare productions of the modern era’ (Time Out), and immerses you in the midst of the multimedia action. Set in a conference centre with multiple screens relaying non-stop media coverage, tautly edited versions of Coriolanus, Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra unfold to form one flowing performance. Power, passion, ambition and national interests – this is the political game revealed in all its facets – with video close-ups amplifying the onstage drama. Roman Tragedies turns audience members into citizens, inviting them to move freely around the auditorium, have refreshments, view the protagonists from different perspectives and live tweet about the experience. First seen at the Barbican in 2009, the six-hour show combines brilliant ensemble acting, running from the cerebral to the raw, with astonishing stagecraft and an electric sense of immediacy. Performed in Dutch with English surtitles. [P]

The Second Best Bed by Avril Rowland. Worcester Repertory Company. Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, 21 January (01483 440 000); Timsbury, Bath, 26 January (0117 9864782). When Shakespeare died, he famously left his wife Anne only one thing – the second best bed. This superb one-woman play, full of both humour and pathos, has received great critical acclaim since its premiere at the Swan Theatre Worcester in 2012. Liz Grand stars as Anne Hathaway on the night of Shakespeare’s funeral. The wake has finished, the mourners have all gone home, leaving Anne to remember her life with the most talented playwright the world has ever seen. Or was he? Did he write the plays? His widow would know if anybody did. Wouldn’t she? [P]

What Country, Friend, Is This? York Theatre, Royal, 9 May (01904 623568). York Associate Schools Festival explores the themes of migration, separation and identity in extracts from Shakespeare’s shipwreck trilogy: The Tempest, Twelfth Night and A Comedy of Errors. [P]

William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged). Reduced Shakespeare Company. Pleasance, Playhouse Theatre, Norwich, 4 February 2017 (01603 598 598); Playhouse Theatre, Nottingham, 9 February (0115 941 9419); Chipping Norton Theatre, Chipping Norton, 11 February (01608 642 350); Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Birmingham, 14 – 15 February (0121 236 4455); Mercury Theatre, Colchester, 17 February (01206 573 948); Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury, 13 March (0844 871 7614); Wilton’s Music Hall, London, 28 March – 1 April (020 7702 2789); Richmond Theatre, London, 18 April (0870 060 6651); Princess Theatre, Torquay, 2 May (0844 871 3023); Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent, 16 May (0844 871 7649); Grand Opera House, York, 20 May (0844 8472322); New Victoria Theatre, Woking, 23 May (0870 060 6645); Leas Cliff Hall, Folkestone, 25 May (01303 253 193). Acclaimed stars of the West End stage, the Reduced Shakespeare Company, bring their barnstormingly irreverent and breathtakingly hilarious celebration of our cultural heritage - as seen through the eyes of three Americans wearing trainers. In a better-late-than-never nod to the Bard's 400th anniversary, the bad boys of abridgement present this 'new' play by the man himself, as discovered in a Leicester car park! [P]


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Last updated: January 06, 2017
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