FLOWING: The New Classics

By Jo Phillips

There is something about a classic. Whether in literature, fashion, or art, these formidable pieces of culture remain relevant from past, present to future. There is a timeless quality to each classic and this is no different for the theatre. Classics are never-ending, flowing sources of creativity, so to speak. Productions are still inspired by classics to this day. Audiences from around the world enjoy and relate to stage plays, some originally written centuries ago, others decades. It’s clear that the themes of love, loss, friendship, betrayal and tragedy, although dramatic, are universal to everyone. In light of our theme this month, we take a look at current re-worked plays…

Richard III

(c) Alex Brenner

‘King Edward is on the throne, and England is at peace. But don’t worry – it won’t be that way for long.’

Of course, no list is complete with Shakespeare. His works travel centuries and remain a favourite in theatres. Arcola Theatre reimagines Richard III, the tale of power, deceit and revenge. Greg Hicks (Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Coriolanus and King Lear) stars as the Machiavellian figure King Richard, ruthless in his pursuit of the throne. The production features acclaimed cast including Jane Bertish, Femi Elufowoju. Jr, Jim Bywater, Annie Firbank, Peter Guinness, Jamie de Courcey, and many more. Direction from Mehmet Ergen, design from Anthony Lamble and production management from Ben Karakashian.

(c) Alex Brenner

Richard III is playing until 10th June 2017. For more information visit here.


Award-winning playwright Jack Thorne adapts Georg Büchner’s stage play Woyzeck for the Old Vic Theatre. Büchner’s play is famously known to be left incomplete upon his death but has been completed posthumously by a number of writers and editors. In this production, set in 1980s Berlin, John Boyega stars as title-character Woyzeck, a young soldier who struggles with his life in poverty. With direction from Joe Murphy and design from Tom Scutt, the cast features Sarah Greene as Marie, Ben Batt as Andrews, Nancy Carroll as Maggie, Darrell D’Silva as Doctor Martens and Steffan Rhodri as Captain Thompson.

Woyzeck is on at the Old Vic Theatre until 24th June. More information is available here.


Arguably Shakespeare’s most relevant and timeless play, Othello is re-imagined by director Richard Twyman. The story of love, tragedy and deceit is produced by Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory and the English Touring Theatre. Abraham Popoola is Othello, with the cast including Mark Lockyer as Iago, Norah Lopez Holden as Desdemona and many others.

Othello is playing until 3rd June. For further information, click here.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Mark Haddon’s award-winning novel is adapted to the stage once again for the Gielgud Theatre by Simon Stephens and directed by Marianne Elliott. The production tells the story of fifteen year old Christopher Boone who describes himself as mathematician. He finds out that his neighbour’s dog has been killed and resolves to uncover the mystery, discovering as much about his own family as the curious case of the dog.

The West End production features Joseph Ayre as Christopher Boone and nineteen year old Thomas Dennis as the alternate Christopher, Jo Castleton as his teacher Siobhan, Nicolas Tennant as Ed, Sarah Stanley as Judy, Amanda Posener as Mrs Shears and many others.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

The final performance in West End will be 3rd June. More information is available here.

Also on at the moment is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time UK and Ireland Tour. Currently at Salford, the tour will continue to locations around the UK and Ireland before ending in Milton Keynes in September 2017.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

The tour cast features Scott Reid as Christopher Boone, Lucianne McEvoy as his teacher Siobhan, Emma Beattie as Judy, David Michaels as his father Ed, Debra Michaels as Mrs Alexander and Eliza Collings as Mrs Shears.

Romeo and Juliet

‘In Verona, violence rules. Two families bear an ancient grudge, and rage flares between them. In a world where greed, wealth and bitter feuds prevail, two disenchanted children dare to choose love. Two households. Two children. One love. One fate.’

Romeo and Juliet - William Shakespeare - Shakespeare’s Globe - 21 April 2017 Director - Daniel Kramer Designer - Soutra Gilmour Choreographer - Tim Claydon Lighting - Charles Balfour

The classic Shakespeare play is re-told at the Globe Theatre. Directed by Daniel Kramer, the production’s creative team includes designer Soutra Gilmour, choreographer Tim Claydon with original music composed by Ben de Vries who has mixed pop and classical music to set the scene. Bringing this production to life is the cast who includes Kirsty Bushell as Juliet, Edward Hogg as Romeo, Ricky Champ as Tybalt, Martina Laird as Lady Capulet, Jonathan Livingstone as Benvolio, Sian Martin as Lady Montague, Harish Patel as Friar Lawrence and Golda Rosheuvel as Mercutio.

Romeo and Juliet is showing at the Globe until 9th July. More information can be found here.

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