Broadway Features and Reviews
Meet A Theatrical Maverick
By Christopher Moore, Broadway Magazine
The New York Public Library is offering a rare chance to meet a theatrical maverick. On June 20 at 3:00pm, Michael Boyd, the Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company will discuss the principles of ensemble theatre, and its relevance to contemporary life and politics. "Making Theater and New Communities: A Talk by Michael Boyd" will be presented at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts' Bruno Walter Auditorium at 40 Lincoln Center Plaza.
Boyd is the man behind the current celebrated staging of Shakespeare's Henry VI trilogy for the Royal Shakespeare Company, and hopefully his discussion will touch on the epic undertaking. Together, the three plays have a running time of 12 hours, and the process involved in bringing the entire trilogy has taken over two years. The production involves 34 actors playing over 264 roles. Will a BAM or Broadway run be possible? It is hard to say. The plays themselves offer such rich characters as Joan of Arc, and the young Richard III. Boyd's staging has been celebrated as the theatrical event of the season. With praise from critics, it remains to be seen if the production can cross the Atlantic in any incarnation. Last season, Lincoln Center offered Stoppard's epic "Coast of Utopia", but of course, good as he is, Shakespeare is no Stoppard. Let's hope someone will take a chance on the upstart from Stratford.
"Michael Boyd's vivid, vital production of the Henry VI trilogy doesn't just show England becoming an abattoir: it helps you to understand why Shakespeare the actor, whose first plays these may have been, so rapidly became a popular success and his company's most trusted dramatist." -Benedict Nightengale, Times of London
"Two years ago, Michael Boyd launched the RSC history cycle in Stratford with this epic trilogy. Now the three plays take their chronological place in the sequence and, seen at a 12-hour stretch, they continue to amaze. Once despised as exercises in Marlovian rhetoric, they here emerge as a blood-soaked tapestry of a nation descending into anarchy: our theatre has seen nothing on this imaginative scale in years." -Michael Billington, The Guardian
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New York Public Library, Michael Boyd, Royal Shakespeare Company, Making Theater and New Communities A Talk by Michael Boyd, Performing Arts' Bruno Walter Auditorium, Henry VI, BAM, Lincoln Center, Richard III, Coast of Utopia, Benedict Nightengale, Times of London, Michael Billington, The Guardian