The Jazz Cafe, Pink Lane, Newcastle upon Tyne

To Wit to Woo – Lessons in Love from William Shakespeare is an intimate and personal experience for those lucky or not to find it! Personally I was lucky, greeted by actors and hosts, in a venue romantically perfumed, with candles and roses on the tables. This was an evening when all senses were catered for.

North east actors had come together to delight their audience with the highs and lows of that elusive thing ‘love’. Who else but Shakespeare can write in such detail, with such passion, tenderness, and bitterness?

Played in thrust, with a staging area, that lends itself to the round, the performer’s rose to this monumental challenge, and even if some performers nerves marred their performances, faults were recovered quickly. I mention this not as a criticism, but to highlight my admiration, acting in such a small and intimate space, where every minute detail of the performer is under the microscope, in much the same way Shakespeare dissects the many facets of love. I know that the second evening will be better. Relaxed and informal, this is a ‘company’ I would wish to see again.

The evening was devised and directed by Peter Lathan and featuring Neil Armstrong, Iain Cunningham, Christina Dawson, Jill Dellow, Jessica Johnson, Alex Kinsey, Steven Stobbs and Rachel Teate, who between them play 18 parts, along with jazz singer Grace Ellen.

I look forward to the next venture, from a talented company of actors. If it’s Shakespeare; the possibilities are endless.