“O for a muse of fire … a kingdom for a stage, princes to act …”. And though they were but actors all, confined to the stage of the Noël Coward Theatre, this Michael Grandage production came over with conviction. The heavy weathered boards of which sets and stage was made gave a feeling of …
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… something of a Monty Python feel to the whole thing, except that it wasn’t funny. It was dull and unrelenting, and while Toby Stephens’ extremely emotive portrayal of Danton may have been convincing, it didn’t elicit my sympathy.
Altogether this was a good production, well worth seeing, but I wish Hamlet’s speeches had been given with less force and more subtlety.
In this performance, Phèdre was played by Helen Mirren, portraying an insecure woman only too conscious of her own inadequacies.