Love him or loathe him Mr. William Shakespeare becomes part of everyone’s life’s at some point. You may have studied the Bard, have a child trying to wrap their head around the text or maybe you have encountered references in popular culture or in film, the man is hard to avoid.

I would say I have a love hate relationship with him, loving his tales and dramatisation from when I read King Lear and saw a fabulous physical theatre company perform Macbeth in my school assembly hall to debating his relationship with Marlowe in University and being ready to throw anthologies and my laptop out the window.

The question then I pose today on what is supposedly Shakespeare’s Birthday and also the date in which he died is; is he relevant to a modern audience do we need a modern take on his famous tales. I personally love the new National Theatre productions with pole dancing witches and acrobatic fairies (review here and I adored Big Telly Theatre Companies (read all about it here) but here are my top three productions and projects launching this weekend. Perfect to tickle your Shakespearen taste buds if you have any? Comment below if you watch any of these productions and love or loathe it!

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Terra Nova Productions presents Shakespeare Monologues.

Live online at terranovaproductions.net from today (23rd April)

As part of this year’s Intercultural Cohort artists and creatives with guidance from Artistic Director Andrea Montgomery explored Shakespeare’s monologues, creating a piece of film which presented the monologue and asked three simple questions about each monologue. We release these monologues today (the 23rd April) to celebrate the bard as this date is thought to be Shakespeare’s birthday and also the date in which he died in 1616.

The Winters Tale- Royal Shakespeare Company

For the first time in its history, a Royal Shakespeare Company production – The Winter’s Tale, directed by Erica Whyman – gets its world premiere on BBC television.The film adaptation of The Winter’s Tale will be screened on BBC Four this Sunday at 7pm and then will be available on the BBCiplayer.

King Leontes rips his family apart with his jealousy but grief opens his heart. Will he find the child he abandoned before it is too late? Set across a 16-year span from the 1953 coronation to the moon landings, this production imagines a world where the ghosts of fascist Europe collide with horrors reminiscent of The Handmaid’s Tale, before washing up on a joyful seashore. 

ROMEO & JULIET- Creation Theatre in Partnership with Watford Palace Theatre

12 – 23 MAY

Are you a Montague or a Capulet? It’s time to choose sides.

Next month, Creation Theatre in partnership with Watford Palace Theatre presents the world’s most famous star-crossed lovers, fated to bring about their own tragic downfall, in an expansive multi-platform digital production of William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet.

Mixing LIVE real-time performance, pre-filmed scenes and choose your own adventure style gameplay the audience, in true Creation Theatre style, are at the very heart of the action. The show will be immersive, fast paced and intimate.

Fate and destiny skills will be put to the test upon entering Verona. Audiences will find themselves at the Capulet party, caught up in the drama they will journey through a multitude of different theatrical pathways and unlock secret moments and experiences. With at least one hundred possible variations, individuals will decide outcomes and see a unique and enthralling show influenced by their choices.

Find out more about this production and book a ticket at creationtheatre.co.uk

There is so much more Shakespeare out there on demand from Sky Arts to the National Theatre at home but this was a good jumping off point and it’s good to recommend new theatre and build new audiences do you not agree.Let me know your thoughts on Shakespeare, your favourite memories or maybe your horror stories. I’m off to watch Leo Di Caprio in Romeo in Juilet before I review Creations piece next week, well we all need a little treat on a Friday 😉

Emer D xx