Filed under live theatre

Opera for Babies

Opera for Babies

This is one of the most bonkers but adorable ideas I’ve heard, but the interview with producer Phelim McDermott with Stuart Maconi on 6 music actually makes a lot of sense, especially within the realm of the Manchester International Festival which ended Sunday. McDermot was initially sceptical, fearing the babies would either be bored or … Continue reading


Censorship in Charleston 1787

Censorship in Charleston 1787

In Shakespeare’s time, travelling players were considered akin to rogues and vagabonds so needed the protection and patronage of a noble to survive. In 1727 England passed the Chamberlain’s Act requiring theatres to be licensed to perform plays, to prevent the vicious satires against prime minister Robert Walpole. Life for travelling players was also hard … Continue reading

Aida versus Political Correctness

Last week the papers ran yet another story that makes me fear for the future of this country. A student production of Aida has been cancelled due to charges of “cultural appropriation’, as the leading roles were likely to be played by white actors. The production was not to be the original, by Verdi, but … Continue reading

Popes and Ventriloquy

I love reading about early theatre performances. In the early 18th century the first Prime Minister Robert Walpole was annoyed at the many scurrilous plays and comedies insulting him and his ministry so he passed the Licensing act of 1737 which censored public performances and continued into the 20th century. This led to shows advertising … Continue reading

Antony Sher on Falstaff

Sher is one of our finest and most knowledgeable Shakespearean actors, and was featured in the i’s series on the Bard’s plays. I saw him play Falstaff in the RSC production. He makes some very good points not just on the subject but much wider aspects of characters: Falstaff is an astonishing Lord of Misrule. … Continue reading

Man + Superman

This is the latest live broadcasts from the National Theatre in London, starring the force of nature that is Ralph Fiennes in the GB Shaw bladder-busting 240 minute production. This is a play that has seldom been performed, – it’s last at the National in 1981, but it is a real tour de force, and … Continue reading