SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE
The Noel Coward Theatre, London
By Marc Norman & Tom Stoppard
Adapted for the stage by Lee Hall
Director Declan Donnellan
The impossible liaison between Shakespeare the penniless playwright (Tom Bateman) and Viola (Lucy Briggs-Owen), promised in marriage to Lord Wessex, is imagined as the background to the writing, casting and first staging of Romeo and Juliet. This initial production is a joyous celebration of theatre which embraces elements of music, dance, mime and comedy woven around Shakespeare’s wonderful poetry and prose. The on-stage period music and the counter-tenor voice of Charlie Tighe are an added delight.
Power of theatre
Where the magic and power of theatre comes from is a continual question posed throughout the play. Rather tongue-in-cheek the answer is given several times that ‘It’s a mystery’. But actually that mystery is bound up with the deeper mystery of what it is to be human: sub-creators, fallen now, but made in the image of the great creator.