Actors from the London Stage


Once again, the genius of Shakespeare impressed me last night as well the excellence of this particular troupe’s understanding and performance of the play we went to see.

The ability of the Actors from the London Stage to reimagine Shakespeare in an contemporary context was startling. Above you see Titania, the queen of the fairies, attended to by her underlings who resemble someone from the bad guys from the Matrix.

Over and over last night, this group brought Shakespeare into the 21st century carefully adhering to the language of the original (which is after all the star.)

This is was one talented cast. Five actors covered 21 characters and did so with ease and humor. The ensemble moments were startling. Their interp was the result of collaborative process (there is no director used).

With the use  a Tibetan prayer bowl, a pitch pipe and the many sounds that humans can make including ensemble singing, I found myself admiring the way the aural environment worked in sync and totally without electronics to create familiar and beautiful effects and was entirely created by the cast.

The did a very cool thing. There was no curtain at the beginning. There were several chairs at the back of the stage. The cast simply wandered on. But they weren’t acting yet. They seemed to milling around, consulting each other a bit a random. Eventually, they settled down and the audience was quiet, lights had come down at some point. They stood and each actor introduced his/her character. This meant a round robin of identification with actors moving easily from one character to another as they introduced themselves. it was more like they explained themselves.

Later the audience begins to understand that the back of the stage (where actors would often exit to) was where actors marked time usually out of character before their next entrance. It was an amazing effect.

I immediately came home and began reading the play again.

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I had a real nice time. Thanks again to Rhonda for prompting me to get our free tickets.

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