Tabletop Shakespeare: Henry VIs and Richard III, Forced Entertainment

I first saw Forced Entertainment’s Complete Works, where they perform 36 of Shakespeare’s plays by moving household items around, on a livestream from Berlin. A lot of the Shakespeare Twitter people were watching and it was an excellent international play-watching experience thing¬†(a bit like the Almeida’s Iliad and Odyssey – I really do love these and again cannot wait for the MA thesis on them). When Forced Ents took it to the Barbican in March, I got tickets to the Thursday night, which was the Henry VI trilogy and Richard III. Each play started about on the hour and took about 50 minutes.

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In the Barbican Pit there were metal frame shelves of the props (actors?) for each play, labelled with sticky tape. You could look for the two pairs of twins for the Comedy of Errors, or the four ladies and four lords in Love’s Labour’s Lost. I was there with friends Steve and Meg, who have been going to Forced Ents stuff long enough that the performer Richard recognised them and came over to say a quick hello before the show, brush with fame! Read more...

Drunk Theatre: “HVI: Play of Thrones” at the Union Theatre

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The Union Theatre isn’t technically above a pub, though it feels like it might as well be. It is, however, just around the corner from Baltic, a restaurant/bar that does very good cocktails, so good that before heading to the theatre, Louisa and I had four. (Between us. We’re not total animals. Yet.)

Exploring connections between the Game of Thrones series and the historical Wars of the Roses isn’t new. There’s a really excellent site History Behind Game of Thrones and an upcoming book entitled, er, Game of Thrones and History. What Phil Willmott, director and adapter of HVI: Play of Thrones, has correctly picked up on is that there is also a strong literary similarity between the Game of Thrones series and Shakespeare’s trilogy of Henry VI plays, in that they both go, “Oh, the Wars of the Roses? Sounds great, let’s add some pirates, magic, adultery, witches, over-the-top gore, bad jokes, zombies and/or robots and basically just go totally bonkers with it.” Read more...

Drunk Theatre: “Henry IV, Part One” and “Part Two”, by the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Barbican

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Last week I had three days off in a row (unprecedented pleasure!) and on Wednesday night I stopped by the Barbican ten minutes before curtain to see which Henry IV was playing, and whether there were any tickets left. It was Part One, and I got what I think must be the best seat in the Barbican. It’s AA3 in the upper circle, and I think it is the best because:

  1. It is £10
  2. The view is hardly restricted at all
  3. When you leave it opens straight out onto a martini bar.
Thirty seconds away from your seat.

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RETURN OF DRUNK THEATRE: Celebrities Do Gay Shakespeare! FEATURING David Tennant’s Richard II and Tom Hiddleston’s Coriolanus

Louisa was in town this week, my longtime drinking-and-theatre buddy who initiated Drunk Theatre Week with me at the National’s Edward II. Clearly the only thing to do was continue with our theme of Gay Renaissance Theatre, so on Monday we saw David Tennant’s hair-extensioned Richard II at the Barbican (RSC) and on Wednesday Tom Hiddleston’s beefy topless-showering Coriolanus at the Donmar.

Richard II

(Photo: Alastair Muir)
Photo: Alastair Muir

 

Drinks Read more...

“Henry V” at the Unicorn Theatre, London

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Man, I thought I was CURSED this week. A series of minor but deeply annoying misfortunes has befallen me and, although I’m not into woo-woo astrology, on the third straight day of terrible things happening I Googled “Is Mercury in retrograde?” and the answer was yes, yes it is. I’m going to therefore use that to explain every bad thing that has happened this week.

After three days of phone-breaking, flat-locking-out and things-being-stolen, Ewan knew exactly what would cheer me up: Shakespeare! Drunk Shakespeare! Aimed at children! Read more...

Drunk Theatre Week: “Much Ado About Nothing” at the Old Vic

Q: So, this Much Ado hasn't been getting very good reviews, gosh! How drunk were you for this one?

A: NOWHERE NEAR ENOUGH.