REVIEW: Being Shakespeare, Harold Pinter Theatre ✭✭✭✭

Being Shakespeare with Simon Callow

The set of Being Shakespeare, Simon Callow’s one-man exploration of the life of our most treasured playwright , appears very simple at first glance: a small raised wooden platform dotted with objects – a sword, a globe, a paper crown, piles of books and a model carousel adorned with sprites. To the right, four wooden chairs are stacked. It is onto this bare space that Callow ambles and begins to speak. Initially he seems merely to lecture us on the facts of Shakespeare’s life but quickly he transforms as he begins to act. Callow plays kings, mothers, boys, teenage lovers, Romans, friends and countrymen; moving seamlessly between them and, with the smallest changes, embodying each character. It is a virtuosic performance. Being Shakespeare is, however, more than a collection of his Greatest Hits. Callow, and the play’s author Johnathan Bate, take us through the seven ages of a single man … Read more

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