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“What, has this thing appear'd again to-night?”

Yes. According to reviewers there is a marvellous Shakespeare production on the boards again tonight in Britain.

It is Gregory Doran’s and the Royal Shakespeare Company’s latest production of Antony and Cleopatra. Doran, who considers 80% of directing is casting, has cast Harriet Walter as the Queen who can “make defect perfection” and Patrick Stewart, the erstwhile Star-Trek Captain, as Antony, the Roman leader Lawrence Olivier once called “a twerp”. Stewart responds to this challenge by playing Antony as passionate and virile.

I am usually exasperated by Antony, but Coleridge wrote,

It is well worth remarking that Shakspeare's characters, like those in real life, are very commonly misunderstood, and almost always understood by different persons in different ways. The causes are the same in either case. If you take only what the friends of the character say, you may be deceived, and still more so, if that which his enemies say; nay, even the character himself sees himself through the medium of his character, and not exactly as he is.

Antony and Cleopatra has a short run at the Novello Theatre, WC2, 0870 609 1110

The second production, which is about to appear again is Tim Supple’s sensual, poignant, and surprising production of A Midsummer’s Dream. Its sinuous and acrobatic Indian and Sri Lankan performers return to the Roundhouse for six weeks starting March 8 before going on worldwide tour. They speak six languages in the production, including, helpfully, English, and were a smash hit at Stratford-upon-Avon last summer.

MC Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, NW1, 0870 389 1846

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