When a young novice nun is compromised by a corrupt official who offers to save her brother from execution in return for sex, she has no idea where to turn for help. When she threatens to expose him, he tells her that no one would believe her.
RSC Artistic Director Gregory Doran (The Tempest, 2017; Imperium I: Conspirator and Imperium II: Dictator, 2018) directs this new production of Measure for Measure, which was written in the early 1600s but feels even more urgent today.
Many years since I had seen MfM, was reminded why it is not performed very often . . It's a cumbersome play, large cast many with very small parts, makes it quite confusing. Sets worked well to create the different ambiences, but costumes did little to help some of the characters. But in amongst some strong performances: in the unlikely role of prison governor, Amanda Harris was probably the only one who really made her part her own. The deception of the Duke masquerading as an old friar totally lacked conviction – such a familiar Shakespearean device, yet no real distinction made here between the two supposedly contrasting personae, making it impossible to believe that the other characters were really taken in by his rudimentary 'disguise'. This meant that the final denoument lacked any conviction, and could only be treated as a weak theatrical joke . . . opportunity missed there! Without the informative programme, the 1900's Viennese setting and social context would have failed to register. Come on, this is the great RSC, with big cast, grand staging – you can do better than this . . .
A dull rendering of a passionate play. Angelo in a suit and Claudio unconvincingly presented in beige tatters. The setting was too big for the characters who wandered about in grey and beige. The voices were thin and at times hysterical rather than passionate. Sad.
Shakespeare's #metoo play shows that nothing has changed much in 400 years. You'd be hard pressed to call it enjoyable but it is a fine piece of theatre. The play lacks memorable speeches and is awash with familiar Shakespearean tropes, but the core plotline is unlike anything else in Shakespeare. Pretty much no one comes out of this play with their reputation intact. There is no happy ending. Truly this is a problem play, and the RSC do a fine job of making it one of the freshest in the first folio.
A very interesting production. Good performances from a dislikeable Duke, an uptight Angelo, a strong-minded Isabella and the understudy who played Escalus. I liked the way Lucio seemed to be getting interested in his accidental baby at the end. One bright spot among all the hated shot-gun marriages.
A sick study in both the delusional moral high ground, the abuser of power, and the perennial virgin. You have no sympathy or care for any of the characters. It is not one of my favourites, with its extended torture to justify another act, but it has been treated well. The Viennese setting though clever, is not entirely convincing. It is as good as I expected.
- Sat 14 Dec, 1.15pm - Audio-described and captioned performance with Touch Tour (11.15am)
- Tue 14 Jan, 7.15pm - BSL-integrated performance
- Post-show Talk included - Free to same-day ticket holders
To contact the Access Manager please email email@example.com or call 020 7382 7348 during office hours.
Barbican - Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS
No refunds or exchanges after booking.
Director Gregory Doran
Designer Stephen Brimson Lewis
Lighting Simon Spencer
Music Paul Englishby
Sound Steven Atkinson
Movement Lucy Cullingford
Fights Rachel Bown-Williams, Ruth Cooper-Brown
Good To Know
Photos by Helen Maybanks (c) RSC
When Can I Go
12 Nov 2019—16 Jan 2020
Where Do I Go
Barbican Centre, Silk St, London, EC2Y 8DS
The venue is within walking distance from a number of London Underground stations, the closest being Barbican, St Paul’s and Moorgate.
Bus Route 153 runs directly past the venue. along Chiswell Street. Alight at 'Silk Street'.
It is also close to Bus Route 4 and 56 which serve Barbican tube station.