Creation Theatre Company
01865 766266 or at
3rd Floor, Cherwell House, 1-5 London Place, Oxford, OX4 1BD.
Hamlet, 13th July to 13th August
Join us this summer as we set up shop amongst the beautiful 70 acres of riverside parkland that make up University Parks. Our troupe of travelling storytellers will transform the parks into the royal palace of Elsinore, home of Denmark’s young prince, for this unforgettable tale of torment and revenge.
University Parks, Oxford.
For more details
see Creation's web site at www.creationtheatre.co.uk.
Review of King Lear
12th February to 24th March 2016.
Review from the Newbury Weekly News.
Five go mad in England
Bookshop Lear among the philosophy and medical texts
Creation Theatre: King Lear, at Blackwell's Bookshop, Oxford, until March 24
Creation Theatre Company has returned to one of its favourite venues, the Norrington Room within Blackwell's Bookshop, to mount William Shakespeare's King Lear. Performing on a stage surrounded by philosophy and medical texts, director and adapter Charlotte Conquest's multi-tasking cast of five focus on the domestic rather than the national tragedy resulting from Lear's voluntary abdication.
In a truncated version of the play, what stands out most are the clever, tricksy ways in which Conquest enables the story to be told with such a small cast. The clearest evidence is with the doubling of Goneril and Regan by the fine young actress Natasha Rickman, who is clearly a star in the making. She switches from one sister to the other by exchanging a feathery shoulder-drape with a furry one and by adopting two very different speech patterns and behaviours.
Goneril is severe and forthright while Regan is flighty and tremulous. Both ooze sex appeal. It gets a bit silly when the two have to talk to each other, though, and there is a loss of the willing suspension of disbelief. There are gains in terms of entertainment value.
It is not unusual for Cordelia and the Fool to be doubled, but actress Lucy Pearson, in addition, takes on the wronged brother, Edgar. The diminutive Pearson is terrific as the emaciated Poor Tom figure that Edgar turns into during the storm scene, books slamming on to the stage as thunderbolts from the heavens. Morgan Philpott, who was in Creation's three-man Henry V a couple of years ago, acts five named characters.
The sisters' husbands are not greatly differentiated and Philpott's time is mostly spent playing the villainous Edmund, who is prone to hearing voices in his head (once again, Matt Eaton's sound design excels).
Max Gold's Lear is gruffness personified, more youthful than often portrayed. His performance does not leave the audience with a feeling of emotional devastation at Lear's losses, however. He could almost have swapped roles with Michael Sheldon, whose blinded Gloucester suggests a complexity in old age omitted by the more one-sided Gold. An inventive, but emotionally unengaging production.
King Lear, 12th February to 24th March 2016
Treasure Island, 4th December 2015 to 9th January 2016. There are reviews from the Oxford Times ("tremendous fun with a wicked edge, this scurvy morality tale will leave you reeling – and grinning long after the sea shanties have faded away" 5/5), Daily Info ("another memorable Christmas show... a well put together piece with lots of energy and enthusiasm").
Alice, 18th August to 13th September 2015. See the review in the archive.
As You Like It, 28th July to 12th September 2015. See the review in the archive.
The Wind in the Willows, 5th December 2014 to 10th January 2015. See the review in the archive.
Macbeth, 1st August to 13th September 2014. See the review in the archive.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, 6th December 2013 to 4th January 2014. See the review in the archive.
Henry V, 17th August to 14th September 2013. See the review in the archive.
Jekyll & Hyde, 8th June to 6th July 2013. See the review in the archive.
Aladdin and the Magical Lamp, 6th December 2012 to 5th January 2013. See the review in the archive.
The Merchant of Venice, 7th July to 1st September 2012
Richard II, 7th May 2012
The Odyssey, 29th March to 28th April 2012
Hamlet, 5th to 24th March 2012
A Christmas Carol, 8th December 2011 to 7th January 2012. There are reviews in the Oxford Times ("backing up all this ensemble acting is some very strong staging... fine show") and Daily Info ("a flawless performance... one of the most enjoyable shows of this year; don’t miss out on a night full of merriment and Christmas cheer! ").
Antony and Cleopatra, 8th July to 3rd September 2011. See the review in the archive.
King James Bible, 14th May to 11th June 2011 at St Barnabas Church
Dr Faustus, 4th February to 2nd April 2011 at Blackwell's Bookshop
Rapunzel, 26th November 2010 to 15th January 2011. See the review in the archive.
Romeo and Juliet, 19th July to 31st August 2010, at Said Business School Amphitheatre, Oxford
Beauty and the Beast, 27th November 2009 to 16th January 2010. See the review in the archive.
Twelfth Night (July 2009)
A Midsummer Night's Dream, 4th July to 13th September 2008
Othello (April 2009)
Hans Christian Andersen's Magical Tales (December 2008)
Animal Farm, 21st July to 30th August 2008
The Taming of the Shrew, 16th July to 25th August 2007
Hamlet, 1st June to 28th July 2007
Macbeth, 2nd June to 9th September 2006 at Headington Hill Park
Saints and Sinners (June 2008)
Much Ado About Nothing (June 2008)
Measure for Measure (March 2008)
Tales from the Brothers Grimm (November 2007)
The Oxford Passion (August 2007)
Arabian Nights (November 2006)
Robin Hood (July 2006)
The Merchant of Venice (June 2006)
King Lear (February 2006)
The Snow Queen (November 2005)
A Midsummer Night's Dream (July 2005)
The Comedy of Errors (January 2005)
A Christmas Carol (November 2004)
Romeo and Juliet (July 2004)
Much Ado About Nothing (June 2004)
The Winter's Tale (February 2004)
The Tempest (July 2003)
Twelfth Night (June 2003)
A Midsummer Night's Dream (June 2002)
Romeo and Juliet, and As You Like It (July 2001)