Shakespeare in Love … not enough force in the farce

When I went: 16 March 2015

Music Owl Hoot rating: 2/5

Location: Noel Coward Theatre, London

Performers: Eve Ponsonby (Viola de Lesseps), Orlando James (William Shakespeare), Edward Franklin (Christopher ‘Kit’ Marlowe), Neal Barry (Philip Henslowe), Nicholas Asbury (Lord Wessex)

Creative team: Film screenplay (Tom Stoppard and Marc Norman), play adaptation (Lee Hall), Declan Donnellan (director), Nick Ormerod (set designer)

Approximate price: £57

Special points: Old-fashioned humour, basis on film

Best bit: Bedroom farce scenes

If I could change one thing: Funnier


The play:

This is an adaptation of the successful 1998 film which bagged Gwyneth Paltrow an Oscar for Best Actress. I was never that big a fan of the film, but I do appreciate the humour and the treatment of a fascinating historical figure.

This performance:

Unfortunately, for me this performance was almost devoid of genuine humour. Perhaps the writing doesn’t work as well for the stage, but I found myself willing the play to end, which almost never happens to me – I love most theatre productions. The chemistry between the leads felt lacking and unfortunately I didn’t feel that this production added anything that you couldn’t get from the film.

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