Buried in a desert, eventually up to her neck. Deprived of sleep by a bell that in Natalie Abrahami’s Young Vic production is an ear-splitting, metallic klaxon. And all the while being slowly baked by a merciless sun. Yet Winnie’s cheery optimism never ceases to amaze.
The inaugural production at Shakespeare’s Globe’s newest candlelit indoor venue is the big story here. That is not to say that former Bond girl Gemma Arterton is not eminently watchable in the tile role of John Webster’s Jacobean tragedy. Lit by the softest of lighting, there is a serene beauty about her.
The London stage currently boasts two of Shakespeare's most alpha males, each played by a Hollywood leading man. While, at the Noel Coward, Jude Law's Henry V lays siege to the French town of Harfleur, at the Donmar, the one-man army that is Tom Hiddleston's Caius Martius storms the Italian city of Corioles. These two come hardish on the heels of James McAvoy's battle-hardened Macbeth.
Matt Smith packs more defined pecs than you might expect of a former Doctor Who. The ripped torso rises out of the Almeida's stage as smoothly as a cassette ejecting from a high-end, late-20th-century tape deck.
Religion and Anarchy
Jermyn Street Theatre, London SW1
Hampstead Theatre, London NW3
I have never been one of those who think the Holocaust should not be depicted on stage or film. Whether the primary purpose of a play or movie is to inform, warn against the depraved depths to which people and their dogmas sink, or even to entertain, the Shoah is a legitimate theme.