Antony & cleopatra

The National Theatre’s live-streaming policy is bizarre

The National’s bizarre livestreaming service continues. On 7 May, for one week only, it released a modern-dress version of Antony and Cleopatra set in a series of strategy rooms, conference centres and five-star hotel suites. The lovestruck Roman was played by a louche, gruff, brooding Ralph Fiennes. Why is this man so watchable? He lacks the least mark of distinction. Face, height, physique and vocal ability are all in the middling range. In real life he could easily have assumed the role of the research assistant’s deputy. Perhaps it’s the Reggie Perrin ordinariness that makes his presence bewitching. Shakespeare was on unusually patchy form when he assembled this huge, rambling