A marvellous and moving evening with Shakespeare

Over 60 people, of all ages from 12 to 80, crammed into the patio room to see Geraldine Alexander and Jasper Britton preview their new play, Shakespeare’s Lovers. It was quite an achievement, as they had to switch mood and context abruptly, as they moved back and forth between comedy and tragedy. To play such as Kate, or Lady Macbeth, or Juliet is a challenge for any actor, but to play them all, plus a host of other characters in one evening, capturing the character and predicament of each, is a remarkable achievement. I had always understood the theory of catharsis before but until last night had never actually experienced it. The passion and evasion, the jealousy and gentleness, the directness and the muddle that love brings were all set before us. The cruelty of Hamlet in his treatment of Ophelia and the wicked ,and unjust, murder of Desdemona brought absolute hush where a moment before there had been joyful laughter; together they touched every emotional centre.

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