Floundering in The Shallow End
Boy in a Dress in Oval

Is Shakespeare shaping up to be the most exciting theatre of 2012?

I know we are getting extra helpings of Shakespeare, what with it being the cultural Olympiad and all that but it feels like all the plays I'm particularly excited about seeing this year were written by the bard.

First there was the announcement that Jonjo O'Neill is to play a young Richard III at Stratford and I'm also looking forward to seeing what Jonathan Slinger does as Prospero in the RSC's The Tempest. 

Then there is The Globe which has tempted me to part with hard-earned cash at what is my least favourite theatre by putting the fabulous Mark Rylance on its stage playing Richard III and Olivia in Twelfth Night. And then not only adding Samual Barnett and Johnny Flynn to the cast list but now Stephen Fry is to play Malvolio

And before I get to see most of that I have what is bound to be a wonderful treat, Propeller's A Winter's Tale and Henry V at the Hampstead Theatre. Propeller's 2011 offerings of Richard III and Comedy of Errors both ended up in my top 5 plays of the year so there is much anticipation.

I'm always excited about everything I see at the theatre but I can't think of anything else outside these Shakespeare's that have quite the same level of elevated anticipation. If at least two don't make it into my top 10 for 2012 I'll be very surprised.

Here's a promo vid the RSC has made for a trio of plays it's calling the Shipwreck trilogy of which The Tempest forms a part