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Antony and Cleopatra tells of the overwhelming passions of two magnetic personalities who hold the destiny of a third of the world in their hands. Antony is a warrior and a lover, torn between his military duties and the erotic charms of the sensuous Egyptian court. At the heart is Cleopatra. "Serpent of old Nile", storym and unpredictable. Their love eventually triumphs with their noble deaths, but not before all else is lost.
A farce about the English civil war .
When Caesar returns to Rome from the wars a virtual dictator, Brutus and his republican friends resolve that his ambition must be curbed - which in Rome can mean only one thing: the great general must be assassinated. But once the deed is done, the idealistic conspirators must reckon with the forces of a new power bloc, led by Mark Antony and Caesar's nephew Octavius. When their armies close at Philippi, will Caesar's ghost be avenged? Opposing dictatorship and republicanism, private virtue and mob violence, Shakespeare's tense drama of high politics reveals the emotional currents that flow between men in power.
On a midsummer's night Hermia and her lover Lysander flee from Athens and Demetrius - the man Hermia's father favours as a son-in-law. Demetrius follows, pursued by Helena who loves him in spite of being spurned in favour of Hermia. On the same night Bottom and his friends leave Athens to find somewhere quiet to rehearse their play which is to be performed at the wedding feast of Duke Theseus. Drawn into the woods they enter a world of magic, mystery and wonder.
Venice. Carnival! Social order is turned on its head. Masters become servants and servants their masters; identities hide behind masks; fantasies become deliciously real... Wilmore, a banished Cavalier, flees the austere chill of Cromwell’s England and arrives with excitement in Venice. He charms two women: a courtesan, and a young woman about to be forced into a convent by her brother. And Wilmore thrills in pursuing them both... But masks must come off, lanterns burn out, and even fantasy has dangerous consequences. Follow the carnival through passageways and misty canals on a journey of seduction and revenge.
Erotic exploration of love, death, sacrifice and betrayal. Herod's step daughter Salome, frustrated in her desire for the imprisoned John the Baptist, performs for Herod one of the most famous and erotic dances of all time and then demands as her reward the head of the holy man. But in doing so she only influences her own terrible downfall.
Naples, 1606. Inside an unfinished church, a painting is emerging from the darkness. The Seven Acts of Mercy is Caravaggio's masterpiece - and his first painting since he killed a man and fled Rome. As the artist works, he is fuelled by anger, self-loathing and his driving need to create a work that speaks of compassion in a violent world. Bootle, the present day. A retired dock worker teaches his grandson, as around them a community is disintegrating under the pressure of years of economic and political degradation. With all he has left, a book of great works of art, he tries to open the boy's eyes to the tragedy and beauty of the life he faces. And the boy reciprocates in the only way he knows.
Playing out across a gap of 400 years, Anders Lustgarten's visceral new play confronts the dangerous necessity of compassion, in a world where it is in short supply.
A contemporary retelling of Guan Hanqing's Chinese classic, which tells the story of a young girl who is framed for a crime she did not commit.
Prospero, Duke of Milan, his dukedom usurped by his brother Antonio, is put to sea with his daughter Miranda and some magical books smuggled in by his loyal councillor Gonzalo. The sea casts them up on an island where Prospero, exercising his magical powers, makes a home for himself and Miranda. One day a great storm, which Prospero has conjured, breaks up a passing ship and delivers to him the members of his usurping court. Treacherous brother, fellow conspirators and old friend alike come under Prospero's spell. Shakespeare's last play.
Returning to Rome from a war against the Goths, the general Titus Andronicus brings with him the queen Tamora and her three sons as prisoners of war. Titus' sacrifice of Tamora's eldest son to appease the ghosts of his dead sons, and his decision to refuse to accept the title of emperor, initiates a terrible cycle of mutilation, rape and murder. And all the while, at the centre of the nightmare, there moves the villainous, self-delighting Aaron.
Thought to be Shakespeare's last play - inspired by Chaucer's Knight's Tale. Close cousins Palamon and Arcite have made a vow of friendship and loyalty to each other but have not reckoned on catching sight of the beautiful Princess Emilia. Their new obsession drives them to fight each other in a tournament presided over by King Theseus.
(1593). Written by a youthful Shakespeare at the time that London's theatres closed their doors in fear of the Plague. Venus and Adonis is an epic poem of wit and sensuous beauty. It tells the tale of the sex goddess, Venus and her passionate obsession for the petulant and beautiful Adonis. He rejects her offer of love, preferring the joys of boar hunting. However, after finally succumbing to her advances, the story ends in tragedy.
Vice Versa (or the Decline and Fall of General Braggadocio at the Hands of his Canny Servant Dexter and Terence the Monkey) is inspired by Plautus' comedies.