The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1423  Thursday, 10 July 2003

From:           Richard Burt <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 09 Jul 2003 13:29:56 -0400
Subject:        New Shakespeareans

The new Shakespeareans

Every generation has one: a stand-out crowd of directors who, for better
or for worse, will define our experience of the Bard on stage. The
future, says Daniel Rosenthal, has infinite variety... (29 June 2003)

"Good Shakespeare directors, like the sorrows in Hamlet, tend to "come
not single spies/ But in battalions", and this summer audiences are
watching the advent of a new wave. In London and Stratford-upon-Avon,
the bulk of the Shakespearean repertory for May to September is in the
hands of thirtysomethings who are still better known within their
profession than amongst the theatregoing public. Tim Carroll, Dominic
Cooke, David Farr, Rachel Kavanaugh, Edward Hall, Sean Holmes and Greg
Thompson are aged 32 to 37 and come from diverse backgrounds - which
will please anyone who still believes that British theatre is dominated
by an Oxbridge-educated elite (only Farr, a Cambridge graduate, and
Carroll, who was at Oxford, fit the stereotype). Their approaches to
Shakespeare take in the spare orthodoxy of Carroll's "original
practices" Richard II at the Globe, the furious energy of Hall's
all-male Propeller company (responsible for last year's Henry VI
adaptation, Rose Rage) and the samurai concept chosen for Farr's RSC
Coriolanus. Farr is now joint artistic director of the Bristol Old Vic
and probably the best-known of this septet, thanks to his own
playwrighting and his spell running the Gate theatre in London's Notting


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