London is pleased. The City of dreams welcomes a new theatre which offers a lot more than a playground for actors and actresses. There is something about the new venue. It is not only what it seems. Welcome to the Bridge Theatre!
The Location and the very young history
Located in 3 Potters Fields Park in London, the Bridge Theatre happens to be a brand new, commercial theatre building near famous Tower Bridge. It opened in October this year, and it is full of excitement for it´s first Christmas Season.
What´s critically important…
The emphasis on new writing is an important factor for B.T. The Person giving first-hand Knowledge is Nicholas Hytner, who planned it as the home of London Theatre Company. Hytner is the artistic director of the new venue. Eight new Shows are to come, all new! Women in leading roles like Michelle Fairley as Cassius are refreshing News. At all, four of the planned premieres are written by women. Questioning Patriarchal structures, that is the plan. New ages, new theatres.
Julius Caesar (W. Shakespeare) at the new Bridge Theatre
Rome. Just Rome? No! Julius Caesar is to come to Bridge Theatre! Caesar Returns. But the elite is going to kill him. Fresh, all new, Nicholas Hytner is going to set the audience as part of the Story. They will greet Caesar as he Returns for his Triumph. Star David Calder will be Iulius Caesar, among the Ensemble will be Michelle Fairley as Cassius, as well as Laila Farzad as Brutus.
Julius Caesar at Bridge Theatre
from January 20 to April
Cast: David Calder, Michelle Fairley, Ben Whishaw („Q“ from James Bond)
Seated tickets: £65, £50, £35, £25, £15
Standing Tickets: £25 (£15 Young Bridge Members)
Reduced prices for previews and midweek matinees
Premium tickets available
Tuesday to Saturday 7.45pm, Wednesday & Saturday 2.30pm & Sunday 3pm
2 hours (no interval)
Performances will contain flashing lights and gun shots
The Welsh actor and singer has been praised as an outstanding artist since he delivered an award-winning performance as „Hamlet“ in a production of the Royal Court Theatre. Whenever it comes to character studies, Pryce is the one you need. Over the years, he has developed his own style. This style is remarkable because of its inner density. Nevertheless, if Pryce asked: „Please, from where do you know me?“ most people would say: „Oh, weren´t you the villain, this villain who made Bond shiver?“ Yes, indeed. He was Elliot Carver in Tomorrow never dies – Number 18 of the Bond Franchise. But should this be the one role everyone knows him for? Same with the High Sparrow from the HBO series Game of Thrones. One character which he was not so sure to take over, by the way. Magic Things are not made for him, he said once. He is also famous for his breakthrough screen performance as Sam Lowry in Terry Gilliam´s 1985 cult film Brazil.
May we also speak of his theatre performances: After he finished his studies at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (Drama School in London), he started his career. He said: „My tutor told me I wouldn´t amount to very much!“ The tutor should be wrong. Hamlet at the Royal Court Theatre was responsive for his Olivier Award. A Milestone in his career was the Everyman Theatre Liverpool. He also appeared in Musicals, creating a flexible Engineer in Miss Saigon, or Henry Higgins in My fair Lady. Also, William Shakespeare has become an important „influencer“: There are roles such as King Lear or recently Shylock in The Merchant of Venice (English Theatre Week #4: The MERCHANT OF VENICE at the Shakespeare´s Globe London and in Venice) that Pryce filled with his own style.
His current project will be Terry Gilliam´s film „The Man who killed Don Quixote“.
Klingers Kulturpavillon wishes a very happy birthday!
The winner of Pullitzer Prize, Edward Albee died in 2016. On September 16th, in Montauk, East Hampton, New York, his life came to an end. But his work will not be forgotten. So what did he do?
Edward Albee was an American playwright. So far, so good. But he was not an ordinary man, like Henry Higgins used to sing. Albee is known for editing books and writing dramas. One of his world-famous plays is „Who´s afraid of Virginia Woolf?“. Another one: „The Sandbox“. Another one: „The Goat – or who is Sylvia?“, and one is called „The Zoo Story“. „Three tall women“ is also one of his plays.So, there is pretty much work that he bequeaths us.
The Edward Albee Foundation, yet, is still at work. It has been founded in 1967, of royaltys of his „Virginia Woolf“. The Mission of Albee´s Foundation is to „provide space to Artists where they can work peaceful and out of any intolerance or disturbance“.
The fact that Albee was gay did shock people, but not for long. He won many prizes: Tony Awards (for „Virginia Woolf“), the Pullitzer Prize (for „A delicate Balance“), Drama Desk Awards and many more.
ENGLISH THEATRE WEEK Klingers Kulturpavillon
Today we talk about one of Shakespeare´s plays. THE MERCHANT OF VENICE is set in Venice, but not all the time. Belmont is also an important place in this play. The question: „What news on the Rialto?“ is remarkable. The Rialto Bridge, one of the world´s most known bridges, is „to blame“. And, what is it all about? So, THE MERCHANT OF VENICE is a play about friendship, moneylending, love, and of course religion. And, of course about some ships returning to Venice as soon as possible (you know!) The first staging of the play took place in the Palace of Whitehall on February 10th, 1605 before the eyes of King Jacob I.
The story of this „comedy“ by William himself is based on the novel Il Pecorone (the Moneylender) by Giovanni Fiorentino and, never to forget, the famous Gesta Romanorum (Doings of Romans).
The language used is Early Modern English. That means, it could be difficult even for native Speakers, to understand every single word of the play. Well, one company and cast who cares about it and brings this story to life in a modern stage is Shakespeare´s Globe this year. „The Merchant“ is also on a national and international tour (including VENICE).
THE MERCHANT OF VENICE at Shakespeare´s Globe is a highly anticipated play, and it is part of Wonder Season 2016.
At first, Dominic Mafham in the role of the rich merchant Antonio, who wants to help a friend, is impressive. His acting is intense, like the movement of his eyes and face, sometimes, too. This acting, does it come from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School? Even when Shylock, the Jew, wants to rip out Antonio´s pound of flesh, Antonio is consistant in his conviction. Antonio, of course, is (mostly) a man of honour and here to help his friend, (actor Dan Fredenburgh – also a good sidekick!) who is badly and madly in love with Portia (Rachel Pickup), a wealthy heiress. Now Rachel Pickup (whose first major role was in a BBC TV series called No bananas) as Portia is just enchanting, such a fairylike woman with such a strong voice, with such a powerful attitude. She´s perfect at speaking Shakespeare´s language. And she makes things much more royal when she is supposed to find her life partner. Not less charming: Dorothea Myer-Bennett as her maid Nerissa, who sometimes wants to seduce her to find a special man (French) with the scent of perfume. As a main character besides the merchant and the duke of Venice, Shylock, a jewish moneylender, presented by Jonathan Pryce, is trying to conquer his fears. His performance reveals strong power as well as heartbreaking religious moments (INCLUDING real ! tears). His daughter, Jessica, (played by his real-life daughter Phoebe Pryce), is also a powerful and convincing character. Hilarious and full of emotion: Launcelot Gobbo (Stefan Adegbola), who takes advantage of the audience and begs a man and a woman to come on stage and represent „The fiend“ and „The conscience“. This scene gets funny the moment all audience members start to shout: „Budge!“ OR „Budge not!“ Adegbola knows how to get them on his side: He keeps moving the mouth of the young man Standing near him, a bit frightened of what he will have to do, in order to let his „fiend“ speak through this man. The cast also includes the Prince of Morocco (also hilarious: Giles Terera) and the Duke of Venice (Ignatius Anthony); and actor John Hastings (the powerful and energetic Ensemble).
The production is directed by Jonathan Munby and composed by Jules Maxwell. The cast headed to the REAL Venice these days to take the final bow of the production.
ENGLISH THEATRE WEEK #3 Klingers Kulturpavillon
|| I hope that my first season will inspire joy, sorrow, fear and laughter in equal, glorious, wonderful, childlike measure as we all choose to get lost in the woods together ||
– EMMA RICE, director of the Globe Theatre
The famous Globe Theatre in London is the most real and lovingly Shakespeare „playhouse“. The original Globe closed down in 1644, when the puritian party did not want any places of amusement any more. Luckily, it has been rebuilt in about 1970 by a famous American actor!
The Globe Theatre nowadays is an Elizabethanian theatre rebuilt, and named Shakespeare´s Globe. It is located on South bank of River Thames near to „Anchor Terrace“. There is space for 1,500 people.
The actor Sam Wanamaker visited London in 1949. He wanted to see the famous Globe Theatre, but was in tears, as people told him that there was no more Globe Theatre. Wanamaker could only see a bronze Plaque with „Globe Theatre“ written on it. Sam Wanamaker decided to build a new Theatre, and this should be his life´s work. The Globe Theatre, as we know it nowadays, was re-opened in 1997.
Sam Wanamaker died of Cancer in 1993, so he could not open „his“ theatre, sadly. Today there is the Sam Wanamaker playhouse, which is a candlelit indoor theatre, located on the nowadays Globe site, and can be accessed through the main Foyer of the Globe Theatre.
The first artistic director of the Globe rebuilt was Mark Rylance, from 1997 to 2005.
Now, the Globe is at it´s „WONDER SEASON“, and, for the first time, directed by Mrs. Emma Rice.
QUOTATION from shakespearesglobe.com:
„Emma will open her season by directing A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Following this, audiences can expect powerful stagings of The Taming of the Shrew and Macbeth as well as Imogen, a reframed production of Cymbeline; UK-wide tours of The Merchant of Venice and The Two Gentlemen of Verona; and Kneehigh’s family-friendly 946 – The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips and the magical The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk.“
The Summer Season 2016 is Extended with „The Globe on Tour“. One of the Plays which are touring around the world is – no wonder- „The Merchant of Venice“. At the moment, it heads to Venice (originally) to take a final bow.
Tomorrow: Read a Review of „The Merchant of Venice“ (production of The Globe Theatre starring Jonathan Pryce, Stefan Adegbola, Rachel Pickup).
ENGLISH THEATRE WEEK Klingers Kulturpavillon
Shakespeare´s early work
Let´s have a short introduction:
Yesterday we were talking about Shakespeare´s life. So today we are going to have a look at his career and work, before we start with some Investigation and critical Reviews of some of his timeless and incredible plays, which are currently on schedule of famous playhouses.
And now to:
Shakespeare in his early years: He wrote comedies and histories, too. His era was the Elizabethan Era, and comedies were very wild and also often a bit challenging to actors. Shakespeares plays were and of course, are highly popular. He often referred to italian culture, by especially two of his plays: „The Two Gentlemen of Verona“, and „The Merchant of Venice“. „The Two Gentlemen of Verona“ (1589) was Shakespeare´s first recorded (theatrical) play. „The Two Gentlemen of Verona“ was followed by „The Taming of the Shrew“ (1590), which is also a very popular play. Also in his early years, he did „Henry VI“, „Titus Andronicus“, „Richard III“, and „Edward III“. He did take advantage of kings, too.
In 1594, there was „The Comedy of Errors“, which was absolutely hilarious. Then, in the „best years“ of the poet, the all-star-story „Romeo and Juliet“ (1595). This Story (and the play) became so popular that even nowadays, tourists want to visit Juliet´s balcony, „Casa di Giulietta“, in Verona/Italy. And every pupil has to read „Romeo and Juliet“, of course. But „Romeo and Juliet“ is not an ordinary piece of art, as we would know it. It is much more of giving access to innermost thoughts and feelings (this includes men and women).
Another very special „dream“ is the one: „A Midsummer Night´s Dream“ (1595). This comedy is set in Athens, Greece, and in a cursed wood. The marriage of king and queen is also a popular theme, and the setting is just magnificent. „What angel wakes me from my flowery bed?“ is one really suitable question too. Maybe Shakespeare thought that we are a little too convinced of beautiful men and women, and that beauty is or was the most important thing when it comes to bounds.
„The Merchant of Venice“ (1597) is based on friendship, the timeless Money lending business, love and of course, religion. Partly, this piece of art is set in Venice, but important scenes are set in Belmont, the story is based on novel No. 195 from „Gesta Romanorum“ – „The doings of Romans“.
Tomorrow: Read the first review of the week of one of the plays described here.
ENGLISH THEATRE WEEK Klingers Kulturpavillon
We all know William Shakespeare. Who would not know this famous man? Famous? Yes, he is. But most people do know his name, how it is spelled. If they are not really into it, they would barely know that this man has written 38 dramatic theatre plays, and the gorgeous amount of 154 Sonetts (or Klanggedichte, as Germans would say).
Shakespeare´s early life
Most of it we know from public documents, not so much from private ones. Printed text and hand-written text is very important if you want to unterstand what the plays meant to him. Well, people can say, there is not a single biography of Shakespeare that says the truth about the real William. Many of the written books are based on the historical context, meaning the time William Shakespeare wrote and arranged his plays.
Let´s start and say, there was this town, called Stratford-upon-Avon, a little town, 100 miles northwest of London. William was born there in 1564, not sure if it was April 23rd.
William was the last of three children, but only he survived, the two earlier children, named Joan and Margaret, had died early. His father was John Shakespeare, a Glover from Snitterfield. His mother´s name was Mary Arden.
William was often called „Bard of Avon“, and also „England´s national Poet“. Pretty good, don´t you think so? The Greatest writer in English language and famous dramatist. Plays of William have been translated in so many languages that the world almost must be full of his plays in every language. In fact, that is not fully the case, but it also sounds really big.
Shakespeare´s early work
Read more of Shakespeare´s work tomorrow!