Scotland reviews 27 items
Shakespeare in Love at the King's Theatre, Edinburgh
From Sydney Florence and Emma Cains’ sumptuous costumes to Paddy Cunneen’s authentic music and Ayse Tashkiran’s formal dances, this production shouts quality!

And with many of the actors and the creative team having strong connections with the Royal Shakespeare Company, it’s no wonder.

This co-production between the Theatre Royal Bath and Eleanor Lloyd Productions is a feast for ears and eyes. Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard’s screenplay of the 1998 Oscar-winning film has been adapted for the stage by Lee Hall, and is directed by Phillip Breen at a cracking pace; it’s a vigorous, riotous entertainment, and something of a spectacle.

Everyone plays their part to the full; the production is full of well-rounded characters who provide us with plenty of laughs. At times it seems there are too many people on the revolving stage, but it’s because the space is bursting with big personalities, colour and movement.

If I have to single out any performances they are Bill Ward as the swaggering Lord Wessex and Rowan Polonski as the flamboyant Ned Alleyn. And though I can’t quite put my finger on why, Ian Hughes held my complete attention every time he came on stage as Henslowe.

A fictitious story about William Shakespeare’s love life, when he leaves his wife and twins in Stratford to find fame and fortune in London, Pierro Niel-Mer’s portrayal of the Bard is, as it should be, unsympathetic. The hapless Will has writer’s block and uses the capable and loyal Kit Marlowe’s (Edmund Kingsley) suggestions to further his own ends, both on paper and in his pursuit for Viola (played with passion and versatility by Imogen Daines), whose wish to be an actor has her cross dressing and involving mistaken identity so common in Shakespeare.

This production has everything – moments of great beauty through music and song to complete farce.

This play certainly is the thing!

Shakespeare in Love is at the King’s Theatre, Edinburgh until Nov 17.
Box Office: 0131 529 6000
capitaltheatres.com
It then continues touring:
Nov 20-24: Chichester Festival Theatre
Feb 25-Mar 2 2019: Theatre Royal, Newcastle-upon-Tyne