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There are 74 onstage deaths in the works of William Shakespeare - 75 if you count the black ill-favoured fly killed in Titus Andronicus. They range from the Roman suicides in Julius Caesar to the death fall of Prince Arthur in King John; from the carnage at the end of Hamlet to snakes in a basket in Antony & Cleopatra; from Pyramus and Thisbe to young Macduff. There are countless stabbings, plenty of severed heads, some poisonings, two mobbings and a smothering. Enorbarbus just sits in a ditch and dies from grief. And then there's the pie that Titus serves the Queen of the Goths. Spymonkey will perform them all - sometimes lingeringly, sometimes messily, sometimes movingly, sometimes musically, always hysterically. The four ?seriously, outrageously, cleverly funny clowns' (Time Magazine) will scale the peaks of sublime poetry, and plumb the depths of darkest depravity. It may even be the death of them.
In a war-torn provincial theatre an ageing actor manager, known to his loyal acting company as 'Sir', is struggling to keep a grip on his sanity and complete his two hundred and twenty-seventh performance of King Lear. Thanks to the efforts of Herr Hitler, all the able-bodied actors are in uniform and bombs are destroying theatres across the country, but the show must go on. Ensuring that it does is Norman. Sir's devoted dresser, who for sixteen years has been there to fix his wig, massage his ego, remind him of his opening lines and provide the sound effects in the storm scene. Inspired by the memories of his years working as Donald Wolfit's dresser, Ronald Harwood's evocative, perceptive and hilarious portrait of backstage life is one of the most acclaimed dramas of modern theatre.
The King of Navarre persuades three friends to join him in a vow of celibacy so that they can concentrate on their studies, but the beautiful princess of France and her three gorgeous ladies in waiting arrive for an informal visit.
After civil war Messina seems to have returned to peace with few casualties and a courtship holds the promise of reconciling the battle of the sexes in a well matched wedding. But the reconciliation's have been too hurried and soldiers can't return to the civilian world overnight.
Ayckbourn's first West End hit comedy of confusion. A lazy summer Sunday in the late 60's. Ginny has fallen in love with Greg and wants Philip to leave her alone. So she sets off to see Philip and tell him once-and-for-all. Greg thinks she's visiting her parents and discovers Philips address so decides to pay a surprise visit and ask for her hand. For once, Philip's wife is still at home when Greg arrives before Ginny. Confused?
English rose Lucy Honeychurch is touring Italy with her prim spinster cousin Charlotte Bartlett as chaperone. Charlotte is quick to step in when Lucy makes the mistake of fraternising with the lower-class Mr Emerson and his son George at their Florentine pensione. However, when she witnesses Lucy and George kissing, she has no option but to whisk Lucy away to Rome. Back home at the family's Surrey estate Lucy becomes engaged to the eminently suitable (but priggish and pretentious) Cecil Vyse. Charlotte has sworn Lucy to secrecy over the kiss with George, but will Lucy be able to repress her feelings when she discovers that the Emersons have taken a house in the village? With its cast of vivid characters, this elegant comedy written in 1908, is widely recognized as one of the finest novels of the twentieth century. The award-winning Merchant Ivory film adaptation in 1985 was voted number nine in The Guardian's list of the best romantic films of all time.
'Mum and Dad would have loved this. Except... I'm here with you, Oona. Because... you're who I need now. As long as I'm with you, I'm OK. Maybe one day you'll carry me out of this jungle like you carried me in.' Following the tragic death of his father, everyone is keen to help young Will. When his grandmother suggests an Indonesian holiday it's a dream opportunity to encounter the elephants he adores and learn about his own heritage. No-one could foresee the world-changing events of Boxing Day 2004. Or the remarkable elephant who would carry Will deep into the jungle after the Tsunami. But before he can allow the orangutans, monkeys, snakes and other animals to heal his wounds, he has to escape the hunters and their terrifying boss, the evil palm oil king, Mr Anthony. This thrilling and touching tale of healing and the power of nature is set in the magnificent landscape of Cass Sculpture Foundation, against the backdrop of monumental sculptures and dramatic settings.
John Betjamen was the nation's favourite poet. Sand in the Sandwiches, celebrates a man famous not only for the light verse and laughter, but for his passions, his sense of purpose and his unforgettable poetry.
The story of a family and marriage through the eyes of four grown siblings struggling to define themselves beyond their parents' love and expectations. Parents Bob and Fran have worked their fingers to the bone and with their four children grown and ready to fly the nest it might be time to relax and enjoy the roses. But the changing seasons bring home some shattering truths.
1974. The UK faces economic crisis and a hung parliament. In a culture hostile to cooperation, it's a period when votes are won or lost by one, when there are fist fights in the bars and when sick MPs are carried through the lobby to register their vote. Let those on the continent cooperate and hug and kiss each other on the ruddy cheek. Here in Britain, one party governs and we get things done. It's a time when a staggering number of politicians die, and the building creaks under idiosyncrasies and arcane traditions. A minority government? No one with any sense or gumption gives you more than a matter of weeks. You're gonna fall, and fast, and hard. So start finding things to land on. Now. Set in the engine rooms of Westminster, James Graham's This House strips politics down to the practical realities of those behind the scenes: the whips who roll up their sleeves and on occasion bend the rules to shepherd and coerce a diverse chorus of MPs within the Mother of all Parliaments.