As the RSC this year is doing all the works of Shakespeare, it’s time to dust off one of the lesser known plays. This one is part tragedy, part comedy – your left not too sure what it wants to be. It’s a great story – the King, Cymbelline has been lost in his depression since his 2 sons were kidnapped 20 years before and his only daughter has gone against and married his adopted son. He’s remarried and the former nurse is just power hungry and her son is worse. Complicated … just like Shakespeare really!
This new production by Kneehigh Thearte Company – who did Tristan and Yseult last year that I loved so much … is full of energy, flashing lights, explosions, songs and dance. Done in a small thearte ‘in the round’ style and very experimental, you’d be forgiven to think it even was Shakespearian drama.
After an astonishing few years of creative frenzy, Kneehigh has emerged as a major force in contemporary theatre. With its vivid, physical storytelling style, Cornwall’s award-winning, and ground breaking theatre company interpret Shakespeare for the first time.
Artistic Director Emma Rice and writer Carl Grose will create a new adaptation of the rarely performed Cymbeline. This wild, giddy and elemental production will see Kneehigh dance through invasions, misunderstandings, intimacies and betrayals, with heart-stopping poetry, live music and touching madness. Never has confusion been so pleasurable and surprising.
Yes, in case you hadn’t noticed, I’m now starting to sound like a pom and look like one too. It’s hard to think that I’ve been here two years!
It’s been so bloody hot too – you would think I lived in Sydney – official temperatures got up to 36C last week, but the tubes and buses make it feel more like 45C or 50C. Nothing here is air conditioned either, which makes the whole matter even more miserable.
So to ‘celebrate’ this milestone, we were off to the National Theatre to see Market Boy a feel good play set in the mid 80’s, during the peak of Thatcherism – with all that bad music, bad hair and bad clothes! What a good laugh and nice story, based on the people working in a street market – something you don’t see much of in Sydney or Auckland.
If you’re into rape, ‘licentous’ behaviour, unrequited love and murder then this weeks post is for you. We had a busy week with moving and setting up the new flat and so had to take a break from this and get cultured with a play and an opera.
My first Mozart opera experience was Don Giovanni. I have to say it was a bit of a struggle after 2 very late nights moving and unpacking. Our ‘modern day’ Don Juan is caught attempting to get in bed with Donna Maria and then kills her father before making off. He then tries to get it on with Zinefrea who only that day married … adding more twist. Though not fully staged the cast all have been ‘working’ on this production for some time, all were from an Italian theatre so they knew what they were doing and a few costumes or props might have helped. Of course it comes to a dramatic end for the Don and a very short moral number to remind us about the price we pay for this kind of behaviour.
Later in the week we went down to the Globe Theatre on the banks of the Thames. A brilliant venue constructed in wood with a thatched roof. We also had good weather and good seats so didnt have stand or rained on from the open roof. Antony and Cleopatra is maybe not as well known as Romeo + Juliet but at least it has battles, sex, suicide and more melodrama than a night in front of Neighbours. Good ol’ Shakespeare!
So that was 2 very different bits of cultural activity by 2 brilliant creators – and anyway, if all the classics have this much bloody action and drama then I’ll go see more
It’s not often you get to see something cool done with fluro lighting .. and not pink neon lips either.
Dan Flavin mucked about with fluro lights in various sizes and colours and created some interesting works with just a glowing tube. The expo here in London wraps up in a week so finally we got our act together and walked down to the Hayward which is near us.
what was probably most challenging is actually stoping thinking this is just some crummy fluro tubes hung up in a corner – how is that art? but more like some post modern bug caught by the eery blue glow of a bug zapper, it was somehow really appealing
What a dark comedy with all the twists of a modern day thriller. Poor Angelo is trusted by the Duke to rule Venice as test and of course immediately creates his own problem by promising a pardon in return for sexual favours. Nice!
Wasn't too sure if this was a Valentines treat – but either way it was a good laugh and until the end, I just wasn't sure if there was going to be one more twist!
National Theatre : Productions : Measure for Measure