Thursday, January 05, 2012

'Measure for Measure' by William Shakespeare

5 January 2012

On Boxing Say we were at The Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon to see the Royal Shakespeare Company production of ‘Measure for Measure’, directed by Roxana Silbert. I’ve seen the play before but this production held my attention better and I felt I properly appreciated it for the first time. Although technically one of Shakespeare’s ‘comedies’, ‘Measure for Measure’ is a dark play. It was good to see the comic moments brought out, without losing the seriousness of its themes. Raymond Coulthard was a mercurial Duke, with a twinkle in his eye, a tendency to break down the fourth wall and a fine line in conjuring tricks. Now that the new Royal Shakespeare Theatre echoes its thrust stage, the Swan, next door, feels very small. We were in the top gallery and could only see the stage by leaning uncomfortably forward. But the quality of the acting overcame these practical annoyances and it was an impressive production.

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