Tag: Declan Donnellan


    Almost as shocking today as it was in 1633, John Ford’s tragedy ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore is his best-known work for its racy plot of a brother and sister from a noble family who fall desperately in love with each other. On March 20, acclaimed theater company Cheek by Jowl opens the incestuous drama […]

  • This Macbeth’s Dagger Is Only of the Mind

    The financial crisis has hit Caledonia hard. Indeed, the downturn has even struck Cheek by Jowl’s touring production of the Scottish play, presented at BAM. Director Declan Donnellan and designer Nick Ormerod have taken a distinctively penny-pinching—if stylish—approach to poor theater. This play boasts no dagger, no blood, not a single weird sister. Birnam Wood […]


    Poor King Duncan has had dismal luck this season. First he’s stabbed with a samurai sword in Ping Chong’s Throne of Blood, then knifed by John Douglas Thompson during Theatre for a New Audience’s production of the Scottish play. Now he’ll be offed again in Cheek by Jowl’s Macbeth. (Seriously, someone should stop the man […]

  • Goldoni’s Villeggiatura: Living on Credit, Circa 1762; Pushkin’s Boris: Tyrants Then as Now

    Carlo Goldoni (1707–1793) was coming to the end of his reign as Venice’s leading playwright when, in 1762, he wrote a set of three full-length plays centered on the experience, common to all urban societies, that Italians call villeggiatura—getting the hell out of the city, when the hot weather sets in, and retreating to your […]

  • Drag Racing

    Disguise I see thou art a wickedness,” insists Twelfth Night‘s Viola. And indeed, it doesn’t seem to be the allurements of masquerade that drew Cheek by Jowl’s director Declan Donnellan and designer Nick Ormerod to this project—a production of Shakespeare’s comedy acted in Russian, under the auspices of Moscow’s Chekhov International Theater Festival. The costumes […]

  • Fools for Love

    Daring choices have become routine for director Declan Donnellan, whose bold productions have revivified classics both rarefied (Le Cid) and tried and true (As You Like It). Othello, his latest Cheek by Jowl offering now at BAM, follows his patent formula: An edgy multicultural cast moves swiftly about in chessboard arrangements hinting at some grand […]

  • The Afghan Road Show

    Back when Declan Donnellan accepted Tony Kushner’s invitation to direct his new play, Homebody/Kabul, no one could have predicted the emotional response the word Taliban would trigger a year later. “I did feel strange flying into New York and coming downtown and doing a play about Afghanistan,” says the Irish-born, London-based director. “But we don’t […]

  • English Muffing

    London— Viewed from America, theater here seems a source of sure-bet plays and productions. Seen up close, the situation isn’t so clear-cut. To the contrary, it’s apparent that figurative tectonic plates are inexorably shifting. To wit (though wit may not be the right word), the English seem to have lost the knack of getting Noël […]

  • Dearth of a Salesman

    I should, I suppose, be grateful for small favors. The Broadway system that can make the tourists line up for a four-and-a-half-hour play, at $100 a pop, must be doing something right. The Iceman Cometh, being a great play, deserves sold-out houses, even if its greatness is no more visible here than in earlier Broadway […]