Shakespeare in Love opens ronight (23 July 2014) at the Noel Coward Theatre.
Disney and Sonia Friedman are behind this big-budget and lavish new stage adaptation of the Oscar winning movie, which has been adapted for the stage by Billy Elliot writer Lee Hall based on Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard’s screenplay.
Shakespeare in Love is directed and designed by the acclaimed theatrical partnership of Cheek by Jowl’s Declan Donellan and Nick Ormerod and includes a cast of over 30 actors and musicians.
A strong cast includes Da Vinci’s Demons star Tom Bateman as William Shakespeare and Lucy Briggs-Owen as Viola De Lesseps in the romantic leading roles, and acting heavyweights Anna Carteret as Queen Elizabeth and Paul Chahidi (flush from his Tony award nomination) as Henslowe.
Reviews of Shakespeare in Love
Reviews of the press night (23 July 2014) to be added shortly.
EARLY REVIEWS (Note: these are of preview performances, which is a practice not condoned by most legit press)
DAILY MAIL (Baz Bamigboye) “The romantic leads, played by Tom Bateman and Lucy Briggs-Owen, were utterly charming.” ” The show is poignant and comically delicious, and has been cast to the rafters with sublime actors (including Anna Carteret as Queen Elizabeth I) by director Declan Donnellan and casting director Siobhan Bracke.”
"The Oscar-laden movie, with its wonderfully witty script by Tom Stoppard and Marc Norman, was terrific, but in Lee Hall’s delightful stage adaptation the piece seems to have found its true home. It’s funny, often genuinely moving and generates a glow you could warm your hands by. You can feel the audience getting behind the piece from the start, and by the end this inventive and touching comedy seems like a joyous celebration of the possibilities of theatre itself." Read more
"... it is the masterly direction and design by the Cheek By Jowl team of Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod that vindicates the decision to adapt the piece for the stage. The set has the galleried shape of an Elizabethan playhouse and, in a clever transformation that has echoes of Noises Off, we get a backstage point-of-view of the climactic Romeo and Juliet. Paddy Cuneen's music also has the seductiveness of Renaissance dance and there is, unbelievably, a company of 28 actors." Read more
"Moments of sheer stage poetry are mixed with effervescent fun" Read more
"Miss Briggs-Owen is enchanting, though she might need to watch the panic-checking gestures, the high tremors of voice and the Sloaney bulges of eye. Though they work here they must not become limiting mannerisms for this young actress. Mr Bateman’s Will, all long dark curls, could be a Latin tennis player. This is not quite the Bard as we see him in oil paintings but he and lovely Lucy make a pretty pair." Read more