Callow's one-man show, in which he plays William Shakespeare, transferred to the West End following a 2010 tour from the Theatre Royal Plymouth and a month-long run at the Edinburgh Fringe. The production made its West End debut from 15 June to 23 July 2011.
Currently appearing in A Christmas Carol at the Arts Theatre until 14 January 2012 - also directed by Tom Cairns - Callow will follow the show's "strictly limited" West End return by taking Being Shakespeare to the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York and the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre at the Broadway Playhouse.
Previously entitled Shakespeare – The Man from Stratford, the show's July 2010 run at Richmond Theatre earned Callow a nomination for Best Solo Performance at last year’s Whatsonstage.com Awards. He is again nominated in the Best Solo Performance category for the show's 2011 Trafalgar run, with voting for the 2012 Whatsonstage.com Awards closing on 31 January.
In Being Shakespeare, Callow endeavours to “track down the real William Shakespeare” in a “a magical tour-de-force”, which “brings to life both the man and the unforgettable characters, who have since conquered the world’s stages”.
Callow has enjoyed previous Edinburgh and touring success with his one-man shows The Mystery of Charles Dickens and Dr Marigold & Mr Chops. His other recent stage credits include Sir Peter Hall’s 80th birthday production of Twelfth Night at the National and Waiting for Godot opposite Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, while his many films include Four Weddings and a Funeral and Shakespeare in Love (which is also now tipped for a Tom Stoppard-penned stage adaptation).
Writer Jonathan Bate is a Shakespeare biographer and editor of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Shakespeare: The Complete Works. He is also currently Professor of Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature at the University of Warwick and a Governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company. His books include The Genius of Shakespeare and Soul of the Age: The Life, Mind and World of William Shakespeare.
Being Shakespeare is directed by Tom Cairns, whose theatre work includes Phaedra (Donmar), All About My Mother (Old Vic), and The Odyssey and Aristocrats (National). It has lighting by Bruno Poet and music and sound by Ben and Max Ringham. Being Shakespeare is produced by Ambassador Theatre Group, Act Productions, and Robert Bartner and Norman Tulchin.
Currently playing in Trafalgar Studios 1, Churchill drama Three Days in May starring Warren Clarke continues until 3 March 2012. Ben Brown's play, which ventures behind the doors of Number Ten during three of the most pivotal days of World War II, when giving in to Hitler was considered by some to be a ‘viable option', is nominated in the Best New Play category of the 2012 Whatsonstage.com Awards.