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SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE WOWS THE CRITICS (24 JULY 2014)

Lee Hall's hugely anticipated stage adaptation of Shakespeare in Love has officially opened at the Noel Coward Theatre. Directed by the driving force behind the world-renowned Cheek by Jowl, the production which features a company of 28 actors and musicians has impressed the critics. A selection of the reviews follows:

"Boy has it been worth the wait... The Oscar-laden movie, with its wonderfully witty script by Tom Stoppard and Marc Norman, was terrific, but in Lee Hall's delightful stage adaptation the piece seems to have found its true home. It's funny, often genuinely moving and generates a glow you could warm your hands by. You can feel the audience getting behind the piece from the start, and by the end this inventive and touching comedy seems like a joyous celebration of the possibilities of theatre itself. It's got the lot - a stirring love story, a prodigious succession of terrific jokes - and it sends up the theatre something rotten while simultaneously delighting in it. This is the best British comedy since One Man, Two Guvnors and deserves equal success."
The Telegraph ★★★★★

"The smartest move made by the producers was to hire director Declan Donnellan and designer Nick Ormerod, the world-renowned Cheek By Jowl team whose profound understanding of Shakespearean drama (its dazzling fluidity; its blithe refusal to respect the "rules" of genre; its mood-mingling suppleness) enriches a production that is filled with moments of sheer stage poetry as well as good-natured, effervescent fun. It makes you feel grateful to be alive."
Paul Taylor, The Independent ★★★★★

"You do not entirely need to be a Shakespeare fan to love this stage version of the 1998 Oscar-hauling film, but a familiarity with Romeo And Juliet certainly comes in handy.
With that one caveat, director Declan Donnellan's show is a swooning, skittish delight, all the merrier for containing no top-flight stars.
The comedy is part Shakespeare pastiche, part Blackadder... If you dislike 'in' theatre jokes, this probably isn't for you; but the ecstatic reaction of the audience suggests you will be in a minority."
Quentin Letts, Daily Mail ★★★★★

"Even more than the original screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard, Lee Hall's new version is a love letter to theatre itself, and one that celebrates the way magic and mystery are born out of chaos and confusion.
But it is the masterly direction and design by the Cheek By Jowl team of Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod that vindicates the decision to adapt the piece for the stage. Many of the best lines admittedly come from the famous film. But this is a play that stands on its own two feet as a heady celebration of the act of theatre."
Michael Billington, The Guardian ★★★★

"Like the film on which it's based, this stage version of Shakespeare in Love is a cheeky mixture of romance, court intrigue and behind-the-scenes chicanery. Lee Hall's adaptation preserves the wit of the original screenplay by Tom Stoppard and Marc Norman while adding some zest of its own. And director Declan Donnellan infuses everything with warmth and high spirits.
Yet there are rich laughs, flickers of mischief and peachy spurts of surrealism. A few heavy-handed moments aside, Shakespeare in Love has a fizzy, infectious exuberance."
Henry Hitchings, London Evening Standard ★★★★


Musicals Opening
16 September 2014 - Evita
29 September 2014 - Urinetown
4 October 2014 - The Scottsboro Boys
4 October 2014 - Sunny Afternoon
9 October 2014 - Made in Dagenham
9 October 2014 - Memphis
8 November 2014 - White Christmas
5 December 2014 - City of Angels
6 December 2014 - Cats
Plays & Comedies Opening
31 July 2014 - My Night With Reg
3 August 2014 - Horrible Histories - Barmy Britain Part II
6 August 2014 - King Lear (Shakespeares Globe)
8 August 2014 - I Believe in Unicorns
28 August 2014 - To Kill A Mockingbird
30 August 2014 - Comedy of Errors
2 September 2014 - King Charles III
2 September 2014 - Land Of Our fathers
5 September 2014 - The Play That Goes Wrong
10 September 2014 - James I - The Key Will Keep The Lock
10 September 2014 - Great Britain
11 September 2014 - Rabbit Hole
11 September 2014 - Ballyturk
12 September 2014 - Doctor Scroggys War
15 September 2014 - James II - Day Of The Innocents
17 September 2014 - National Youth Theatre - Selfie
19 September 2014 - National Youth Theatre - Macbeth
19 September 2014 - National Youth Theatre Private Peaceful
19 September 2014 - James III - The True Mirror
20 September 2014 - Electra
22 September 2014 - Pitcairn
24 September 2014 - Speed the Plow
3 October 2014 - Henry IV
4 October 2014 - East is East
26 November 2014 - Room on the Broom
26 November 2014 - Wind in the Willows
17 December 2014 - Slavas Snowshow
22 December 2014 - Treasure Island