"the gross and scope of my opinion ..." Hamlet I,1.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
THE SHOEMAKERS' HOLIDAY
Shakespeare Company at the Swan Theatre
Shakespeare's company was staging Much Ado About Nothing at
their new Globe,
their rivals, the Admiral's Men, were packing the
Rose across the way with this “city comedy”.
different entertainments. Dekker gives Londoners a play set in their
own streets, with local references and characters. It's 'Allo 'Allo
humour, with catch-phrases,
funny foreigners and fart jokes.
setting is a cavernous Romanesque church, with buttresses, beams,
angels and demons, a rose window and chandeliers. Bells ring out
around the Swan auditorium.
Breen's lively, lusty production promises “naught but mirth”,
advertised in the prologue, deliciously done by the strolling
players, fronted by their boy. But there are deeper, darker moments,
notably when the French wars are foreshadowed at
the close, and the company freezes as the lights fade.
excellent company, led by David Troughton's Falstaffian Eyre, with
Vivien Parry as his spouse. Their finest moment when they appear as
two Holbeins, Henry and Elizabeth [and does her bum look big in that]
after their elevation to Lord Mayor. Josh
O'Connor is Rowland, who spends most of the play pretending,
hilariously, to be Dutch. Daniel Boyd is the journeyman Ralph,
conscripted for those same wars. And Jack Holden makes the most of
the King, done here as a playful, boyishly affable chap.
Henry V, who may well have been playing the other face of the same
wars over the road in the Wooden O ...