Review: Ben Whishaw and Sophie Okonedo in The Crucible, Walter Kerr Theater, New York
A short review: Michelle Williams and Jeff Daniels in Blackbird, Belasco Theatre, New York

Me and Shakespeare - a list

CgtmglOWgAAbcEOOn the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death it seems appropriate to do a list:

First Shakespeare I saw

Midsummer Night's Dream at Tolethorpe Hall - Performed by a local am dram society outside in the grounds, the stage skirted by trees and shrubbery it was quite magical. The cast would just melt into the darkness of the leaves and branches.

Last I saw

Coincidentally it was A Midsummer Night's Dream, this time at the Lyric Hammersmith and it was brilliantly funny.

Plays I studied

Henry IV part 1 for O-level, Richard II and The Tempest for A-level, Hamlet, Othello, Richard II, Richard III, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Twelfth Night for my degree.

The plays I've yet to see

Cymberline (booked to see in the Autumn), Antony and Cleopatra, Henry VI (seeing an abridged version as part of Ivo Van Hove's King's of War tomorrow), Henry VIII, Merry Wives of Windsor, Pericles and King John.

Favourite play

Hamlet. Always see something new in every production and I'm still waiting for the perfect Ophelia.

Favourite Hamlets

Ben Whishaw, Rory Kinnear, David Tennant and Adam Lawrence.

Least favourite play

Sorry but I just don't like King Lear. I keep trying it and have booked to see SRB in the RSC production in the Autumn just in case that is the one to convert me.

Worst production

I've seen some dodgy pub Shakespeare (I've also seen some brilliant pub Shakespeare) but the production that still makes me shudder is Troilus and Cressida at the Riverside Studios. I went with @oughttobeclowns and @pcchan1981 and at the interval we didn't even discuss whether we would stay for for the second half, we just left our seats and kept on walking.

Favourite speech

Won't surprise you that it's from Hamlet. If this is done well it moves me to tears but it is the "O, that this too too solid flesh would melt" soliloquy

Happy Death Day Bill, may your talent endure for another 400 years.