The intimate atmosphere of the Harold Pinter theatres is a good choice for the one-man show, Being Shakespeare.
Simon Callow is brilliant as the raconteur of Shakespeare’s life. The history behind Shakespeare’s life is cleverly written by Jonathan Bate, using the seven ages of man, as outlined in ‘All the World’s A Stage’ from Shakespeare’s play As You Like It.
The story unfolds, with Callow using different accents to portray people, and interspersed with lines from Shakespeare’s numerous plays. Often, his discourse includes an explanation as to why Shakespeare had written them.
We learn that Shakespeare was an apprentice to his father in the glove making trade; that his father was a man of importance in Stratford-upon-Avon; and that he, Shakespeare married an older woman with property, and with whom he had children. He disappeared for several years, turning up in London working for the first established theatre in Shoreditch. This theatre was later rebuilt in Southwark, and opened by King Henry V, becoming known as the Globe. Initially, he used his experience to write lines for the actors, eventually gaining recognition writing his own plays. Not to be missed.
The season runs until March 15.
Beingshakespeare.com T. 0844 871 7622
Harold Pinter Theatre, Panton Street, London SW1Y 4DN.
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