Shakespeare

Star quality: Mark Rylance as Iago at Shakespeare’s Globe

Intelligent, enjoyable, beautiful, eccentric: Globe's Othello reviewed

8 September 2018 9:00 am

It’s intelligent, enjoyable, beautiful to look at and funny in unexpected places, yet Othello at the Globe didn’t quite meet…

If we offer Ian McKellan a peerage, will he promise not to inflict his King Lear on us again?

4 August 2018 9:00 am

Gandalf, also known as Ian McKellen, has awarded himself another lap of honour by bringing King Lear back to London.…

Contains at least 15 laugh-out-loud moments: Genesis Inc. reviewed

7 July 2018 9:00 am

Listen to the crowd. I often delay passing judgment on a show until the audience delivers its verdict. This is…

Antony Sher: self-portrait as King Lear

Sher genius: Antony Sher’s account of playing King Lear

2 June 2018 9:00 am

Why are rehearsal diaries so compelling? One approaches them with cynicism and then ends up reading with racing heart through…

The terrific cast of BBC2's King Lear (BBC/Playground Entertainment/Ed Miller)

Understated and heartbreaking: BBC2’s King Lear reviewed

2 June 2018 9:00 am

I recently came across a theory of the American poet Delmore Schwartz’s that Hamlet only makes sense if you assume…

Michelle Terry as Hamlet and Catrin Aaron as Horatio at Shakespeare's Globe. (Photo: Tristram Kenton)

No one but Michelle Terry would have hired Michelle Terry to play Hamlet

2 June 2018 9:00 am

Regime change at the Globe. The new boss, Michelle Terry, wants a 50/50 ratio of males to females in each…

Can fiction really cure cancer?

14 April 2018 9:00 am

If you write a book, even a novel, about Shakespeare you must at least consider the theory that Will of…

Give me Shakespeare’s Macbeth over Jo Nesbo’s any day

14 April 2018 9:00 am

It must have seemed a good idea to someone: commissioning a range of well-known novelists to ‘reimagine Shakespeare’s plays for…

David Calder as Caesar in Nicholas Hytner’s Julius Caesar

Bold, in its way, but Ben Whishaw is ill-suited to Shakespeare: Julius Caesar reviewed

10 February 2018 9:00 am

Nicholas Hytner’s new show is a modern-dress Julius Caesar, heavily cut and played in the round. It runs for two…

Togas, sandals, breastplates, ketchup and daggers, not guns: Julius Caesar at the Barbican

It’s impossible to muff the role of Scrooge – yet Rhys Ifans manages: A Christmas Carol reviewed

9 December 2017 9:00 am

Maximum Victoriana at the Old Vic for Matthew Warchus’s A Christmas Carol. Even before we reach our seats we’re accosted…

The best kind of poem: England on two wheels

The English countryside on two wheels is like the best kind of poem

25 November 2017 9:00 am

No seat belts. No airbags. Just air, and coming at you as fast as you like. Motorcycling shouldn’t be allowed,…

The Remainers are wrong – Boris never promised the UK another £350m a week after Brexit

23 September 2017 9:00 am

Sir David Norgrove, the chairman of the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA), is an honourable man. When he publicly rebuked Boris…

Worse for wear: Kevin McNally as Lear and Burt Caesar as Gloucester in King Lear

A model of ethnically appropriate casting: the Brandreths’ Hamlet reviewed

9 September 2017 9:00 am

A new orthodoxy governs the casting process in Hollywood. An actor’s ethnicity must match the character’s. If you extend this…

Ira Aldridge as Othello, painted in 1826 by James Northcote

The first black actor to play Othello was also one of the greatest

2 September 2017 9:00 am

Robert Gore-Langton celebrates Ira Aldridge, the first black actor to play Othello

Karl Ove Knausgaard discovers the world anew

19 August 2017 9:00 am

Here is the opening sentence of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s meditation on beds.: With its four legs and its flat, soft…

Pat and Richard Nixon in ENO’s 2006 production of John Adams’s Nixon in China

The woman who changed the direction of opera

19 August 2017 9:00 am

Philip Hensher on the woman who changed the direction of opera

It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world: Barbara Hannigan (Ophelia) and Allan Clayton (Hamlet) in Hamlet at Glyndebourne

Shattering climaxes and showstopping singing: Glyndebourne’s Hamlet reviewed

17 June 2017 9:00 am

Brett Dean’s new opera for Glyndebourne is a big-hearted romantic comedy, sunny and life-affirming. Only joking — this is contemporary…

The Merchant of Venice: expert in spreading investment risk

How to invest in dynamic businesses abroad or world-changing inventions

27 May 2017 9:00 am

Andrew M. Brown explains the risk-spreading principle and the enduring fascination of investment trusts

Adventures in boozy slapstick: Shit-Faced Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing reviewed

22 April 2017 9:00 am

Even the Bard’s staunchest fans admit that ‘Shakespeare comedy’ may be an oxymoron. That’s the assumption of the touring company…

If there’s a problem in the Vatican, it’s not Pope Francis

18 March 2017 9:00 am

Pope Francis’s mission Sir: Despite Damian Thompson’s intimations (‘The plot against the Pope’, 11 March), Pope Francis is going nowhere…

A flimsy exhibition of varsity wit: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead reviewed

18 March 2017 9:00 am

Harry Potter, who uses the stage name Daniel Radcliffe, is a producer’s delight. By now it’s becoming clear that the…

Nympho with a bus pass: Juliet Stevenson as Gertrude

The textual omissions and misreadings could fill a small book: Almeida’s Hamlet reviewed

11 March 2017 9:00 am

Hamlet was probably written sometime between 1599 and 1602. The Almeida’s new version opens with a couple of security guards…

I’ve never enjoyed Twelfth Night but the Olivier Theatre’s new production is triumphant

4 March 2017 9:00 am

It’s every impresario’s dream. Buy a little off-West End venue to try out stuff for fun. Andrew Lloyd Webber has…

Cold comfort: Zach Roberts in Rory Kinnear’s ‘The Winter’s Tale’ at ENO

Only Mozart could have done this play justice: The Winter’s Tale at the ENO reviewed

4 March 2017 9:00 am

Why set a supremely great play to music? The Winter’s Tale, the play of Shakespeare’s that I love most, has…

What Vladimir Putin said to the Eton boys

18 February 2017 9:00 am

How does Vladimir Putin think about the world? It becomes dangerously important to know. I still have not seen a…