Shakespeare in the Park is back in Central Park, but if you’re not near New York City, stream some fabulous stage performances from the RSC and others instead.
After being cancelled last year due to the pandemic, Shakespeare in the Park in back in New York City’s Central Park this summer with The Public Theater staging Merry Wives, an adaptation of the Bard’s The Merry Wives of Windsor directed by Saheem Ali, now through September 18th.
But if you’re not in the NY-NJ-CT tri-state area or you couldn’t snag tickets through the digital lottery, you can get your theater fix by streaming esteemed performances of Shakespeare’s plays from the Royal Shakespeare and Donmar Warehouse instead with SVOD service BroadwayHD.
Amongst the available titles are:
From The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC)
- Antony and Cleopatra — Directed by Iqbal Khan, this 2017 production stars Josette Simon (The Mallorca Files) and Antony Byrne (Coronation Street) as the doomed lovers.
- Coriolanus — Sope Dirisu (Gangs of London) plays the eponymous Roman soldier in this 2017 production directed by Angus Jackson.
- Hamlet — Primetime Emmy® and BAFTA nominee Paapa Essiedu (I May Destroy You) plays the titular Prince of Denmark in this 2016 Simon Godwin-directed production, which premiered at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon in 2016. Essiedu reprised the role for the 2018 UK tour and performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
- Henry IV Part 1 & Henry IV Part 2 — These 2014 productions, directed by Gregory Doran, star Antony Sher (The Shadow Line) as Sir John Falstaff, Alex Hassell (The Miniaturist) as Prince Hal, and Jasper Britton (Garrow’s Law) as King Henry IV.
- King Lear — Starring Olivier Award winner Antony Sher and directed by RSC Artistic Director Gregory Doran, this 2016 production played at both the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the Barbican in London, as well as on screen in movie theaters worldwide. It was also revived in 2018 for a short run in the US at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
- Macbeth — Starring award-winning actors Christopher Eccleston (The A Word) and Niamh Cusack (Death in Paradise), this 2018 production of “the Scottish play” was directed by Polly Findlay.
- Measure for Measure — Director Gregory Doran found contemporary resonance in this 2019 production of the “problem play” through its links with the #MeToo movement.
- The Merry Wives of Windsor — David Troughton (The Cafe) stars as Sir John Falstaff is this modern take on the beloved play, directed here by Fiona Laird in 2018.
- Love’s Labour’s Lost — In 2014, director Christopher Luscombe and the RSC paired Love’s Labour’s Lost with Love’s Labour’s Won (i.e. Much Ado About Nothing). The action took place on either side of the Great War, and both productions featured the same company of actors and a shared set based on Charlecote Park, the National Trust stately home near Stratford-upon-Avon.
- Richard II — I had the immense pleasure of seeing this sold-out 2013 Gregory Doran-directed production, starring David Tennant (Doctor Who) as the titular monarch, live at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.
- Romeo and Juliet — This 2018 RSC production of the most famous story of love at first sight is directed by Erica Whyman.
- The Taming of the Shrew — Claire Price (Rebus) stars as Petruchia in this 2019 Justin Audibert-directed production of the battle-of-the-sexes love story, in which society in 1590 is a matriarchy.
- Timon of Athens — In this 2018 production directed by Simon Godwin, Kathryn Hunter (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix) took on the title role of the misanthropic Timon.
- Two Gentlemen of Verona — Simon Godwin, now Artistic Director of the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington DC, made his RSC debut directing this exuberant romantic comedy by Shakespeare in July 2014, the first time in 45 years that it had been performed in a full production on the Royal Shakespeare Theatre stage.
- Donmar Warehouse’s All-Female Shakespeare Trilogy — All three productions are directed by Phyllida Lloyd, CBE.
- Julius Caesar — Set in the modern day in a women’s prison, this production of Shakespeare’s great political drama stars Dame Harriet Walter (Succession) as Brutus and Jade Anouka (Trauma) as Mark Antony.
- Henry IV — Set against the backdrop of women in prison, this history play stars Harriet Walter as the titular monarch, Jade Anouka as Hotspur, and Sophie Stanton (EastEnders) as Falstaff.
- The Tempest — Set on an isle “full of noises,” this magical production sees Harriet Walter in the role of Prospero, Jade Anouka as Ariel, and Leah Harvey (Les Misérables) as Miranda.
- King Lear — Sir Ian McKellen (The Lord of the Rings) gives a tour-de-force performance as the tragic monarch in this TV adaptation of the RSC’s production.
- Macbeth — Sir Patrick Stewart (Star Trek: TNG) stars as the Scottish general-turned-king, with Kate Fleetwood (Harlots) costarring as Lady Macbeth, in director Rupert Goold’s visionary take on this classic play, which shifts the action to a foreboding purgatory in order to explore mankind’s eternal struggle for power.
- Romeo and Juliet — Orlando Bloom (The Lord of the Rings) and Condola Rashad (Billions) take on the title characters in a modern adaptation of this timeless classic that was performed on Broadway.
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