Posts Tagged ‘Catherine Tate’

Being so pleased with the stage and auditorium evolved from the Swan and Courtyard Theatres which has resulted in our new brilliant thrust style stage and one room space at the RST, we were a bit unsure of how we would re-act to our first proscenium arch theatre event for quite some time.

Armed with the knowledge that David Tennant was such a good Hamlet at The Courtyard we went on an away day to London. The Wyndham’s in the middle of Theatre-land is beautifully maintained and has a charming atmosphere. But, the first thing that struck us was the uncomfortable seats. They were certainly not as comfortable, roomy or with as much leg room as the RST- we had top class seats mind you and really those who have problems with some of the narrower seats at the RST should just visit another theatre like we did and then appreciate the RST version.

We did, however, enjoy the production albeit there is no doubt about it, in our minds, that it would have been better if it had been carried out by an RSC Ensemble. There is non-stop action and the fun factor was nearly as good as at Stratford. It’s hard to miss the sexual aspects of the play and Tennant and Tate do a fine job leaving no-one in any doubt regarding the double meanings. David Tennant was excellent and clearly enjoyed carrying out slapstick. However, he alone appeared to be in tune with the audience – probably as a result of his tenure with the RSC. Catherine Tate was quite good in parts, very funny but not always our ideal for the part of Beatrice.

The Director used 1980s Gibraltar for the setting. It was typical of the British military presence, on the Rock, where partying was the norm. With this in mind it helped in the trickery regarding Benedick and Beatrice. Perhaps the remaining class differences in British society are most evident within the military and the superb Navy uniforms were used to great effect. The Director, Josie Rourke made a change to the original players by giving Leonato a wife instead of a brother. Very well staged was the pre wedding party where Margaret (wearing Hero’s wig) has a vivid and noisy sex scene with Borachio which left little to the imagination.

One great strength of the production was that the non stop action was helped by the stage which kept revolving. There was a wonderful scene where decorators were working and it was not clear why. Suddenly it was obvious as later Tennant was covered in paint and Tate was hoisted up on a pulley. We still could not help thinking that Shakespeare is by far better if one uses the one room auditorium and a thrust stage.  Yes it was worth going to watch and very enjoyable but we left so glad that the RST and Swan Theatres are walking distances away from our house.

David and Ingrid Stevens

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Look out for a new series on Sky Arts 1 beginning Saturday 28th May
In love with Shakespeare – a series of short films throughout May and June in which renowned actors recite their favourite Shakespeare monologues. The first 30 minute film on Saturday whisks through who is doing what. Afterwards there appear to be 5 minute slots at 1.55pm starting Wednesday 1st June.
Names include Samuel West, Catherine Tate, John Simm, Robert Lindsay, Simon Callow and Stephen Campbell-Moore (Friends, Romans, Countrymen).

For full details look at:

Although this is hardly a prime time spot perhaps the films will also be available online?
by Susan Finch

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John will be playing Richard II at the Tobacco Factory in Bristol from 10th February to 19th March. As usual, their website has all the important information so have a look at either  http://www.tobaccofactorytheatre.com/ or http://www.sattf.org.uk/.
Meanwhile, Kieran is back at the Octagon Bolton  http://www.octagonbolton.co.uk/ playing Mercutio and the Prince in Romeo & Juliet, running from 3rd February to 5th March. Also in the cast is long term alumnus Rob Edwards with Michelle Collins as the Nurse.

.. and on next Friday (14th) for Nick Asbury who’s appearing in Hustle @ 9pm on BBC1.


And get in the queue for tickets for David Tennant and Catherine Tate in Much Ado at the Wyndhams http://www.delfontmackintosh.co.uk from May to Sept 3rd!


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