The show, previously entitled Shakespeare – The Man from Stratford, earned Callow a nomination for Best Solo Performance in this year’s Whatsonstage.com Awards, following its run last July at Richmond Theatre. The piece, co-written by Bard scholar Jonathan Bate, premiered in June 2010 at the Theatre Royal Plymouth before touring and culminating with a month at the Edinburgh Fringe.
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.
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).
Currently at Trafalgar Studios 1, End of the Rainbow, starring Tracie Bennett as Judy Garland, finishes its extended season on 21 May 2011, prior to a UK autumn tour, US opening at Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theater in January 2012 and a planned Broadway transfer. Between the two productions at Trafalgar Studios, there’s a break for a planned refurbishment of the auditorium’s seating.