I recently went to see Shakespeare in High Park’s production of All’s Well That Ends Well (directed by Ted Witzel). I was so excited to see this show because, not only does SiHP put on a fun show, but this is a Shakespeare show that is rarely done. It is a complex, dark comedy and includes an ending that ends ‘well’ but leaves you questioning whether that is good enough. It places you in a world where people have the right and the ability to determine whether you are worthy or not.
Antoni Cimolino’s Macbeth could be considered a traditional Macbeth by setting it in the 11th century. But this is a production that goes bump in the night and carries with it an air of mystery similar to an old monster movie. The feeling of the show reminds me of Ichabod Crane’s Sleepy Hollow or the village terrorized by Frankenstein’s monster. This is the world of the weird sisters. The forest they inhabit extends over the Festival stage. The forest remains a key focus even when the characters are in Macbeth’s castle, which seems to suggest the witches never truly leave Macbeth’s presence.
Currently A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the Shakespeare show I have seen the most versions of. I have seen it done with punk faeries, I’ve seen it in the 1920s, and I’ve performed it with a yoga ball set to name a few. I love this show so much and I was ecstatic to be given to opportunity to experience the Globe Theatre’s re-imagining of it this year.
Emma Rice’s debut as artistic director at the Globe presented a Midsummer which I would describe as a cross between Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge and a Bollywood movie. It was full of colour and momentum and flash. Rice’s Midsummer sparked a lot of conversations about the Globe’s purpose in the theatre world at large and about how Shakespearean shows should or should not be presented.