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tree's shipwreck

‘A marvellous box of tricks’: On the shipwreck in Tree’s ‘The Tempest’

The focus on journeys, isolation and wreckage in the current RSC ‘Shipwreck trilogy’ has turned my attention to Victorian productions of these plays, and their use of the shipwreck motif. One such production immediately springs to mind: Tree’s 1904 Tempest at Her Majesty’s Theatre. The play was divided into three acts, and frameworked with two […]

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Royal Shakespeare Company production ofKING JOHNby William Shakespearedirected by Maria Aberg

King John: A play for all time?

Having had a period of reflection after seeing Maria Aberg’s King John at the Swan Theatre, it occurs to me how its forceful message about a-nationalism is not so very distant from the two, arguably, greatest Victorian productions of the play by William Charles Macready (1840s-1850s) and Herbert Beerbohm Tree (1899). Thinking, as I have […]

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Sir Henry Irving

Much Ado About Churches: Henry Irving does a wedding

In anticipation of the Indian-themed production of Much Ado About Nothing opening at the Courtyard Theatre in July, I’m thinking back to spectacular Victorian mountings of Shakespeare’s comedy. And what more striking production of this play was there in this period than that of Henry Irving: the rigorous Methodist and much-debated actor-manager of the Lyceum […]

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Herbert Beerbohm Tree as Mark Antony

Jubilant Julius: Tree’s Spectacular Theatre

Herbert Beerbohm Tree as Mark Antony   I recently had the pleasure of seeing Greg Doran’s Julius Caesar at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, and the striking set made me think about the grand visual feast of Herbert Beerbohm Tree’s production at Her Majesty’s Theatre in 1898. Like Doran’s production, Tree’s was mounted in the wake […]

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