Shakespeare Live! From the RSC - 3 Stars
I love the works of the Bard, he is truly one of the most incredible playwrights. Yet this celebration of his work and how he’s inspired others clearly fell flat.
Firstly it was 163 minutes long with no interval - this didn’t bode well, most live broadcasts take a 10 minute interval - like you’d get if attending the theatre, but no.
Some of the actors, David Tennant, Ian McKellen and many of the RSC players were brilliant. They performed superb excerpts from a range of Shakespeare play’s. Some actors, like Helen Mirren failed to pull off the performance, which lead to disappointing scenes.
The major issues were; 1 - the flow. Hosts David Tennant and Catherine Tate were given narration to fit between all the segments and while Tennant’s hosting abilities were superior to Tate’s neither was able to keep momentum for the whole show.
2 - There were some irrelevant pieces or pieces that just didn’t translate to Shakespeare. There was a rap, numerous dance pieces and some Shakespeare backstory pieces with Joseph Fiennes. None of these were entertaining in the slightest. They felt uncomfortable and shoehorned in - while the backstory was relevant the other two failed to fit the theme in the slightest.
However this being said, there are great Shakespearian performances, excerpts from Operas and musicals inspired by Shakespeare and a lovely Hamlet based skit. Overall this isn’t a bad show, it just needed some refinement before being broadcast. Avid Shakespeare fans will still enjoy this unique experience.
Review by Benjamin Maio Mackay
Screening courtesy of Palace Nova Cinemas
Shakespeare Live! From the RSC is in cinemas this weekend only.