SHAKESPEARE 

Podcasts

Splicing Dicing Shakespeare!!
A new Podcast series turning Shakespeare’s original plays into 21st Century revamps! Our intention is to
stay true to the Bard's original themes, words, and characters - by putting them into new
contexts and settings; as with our stage-plays, listeners will enjoy new takes on old favourites.
We kick-off in 2020 with our first, brand-new, series of Podcasts - Romeo & Juliet. This will be broadcast over 4 x 40-minute episodes, details below.
Romeo & Juliet

The lovers have a chance to relive their former lives . . . each gets to tell the story from their own angle . . . an opportunity to hear Shakespeare's wondrous words afresh . . . 

 

Theatre

King Lear (alone)
Nominated for the GM Fringe Best Adaptation Award 2018
Nominated for the GM Fringe Best Spoken Word Award 2018
2018 Greater Manchester Fringe, Edinburgh Fringe
2017 Bristol Shakespeare Festival, Bath Fringe, Oldham, Buxton Festival Fringe
2016 Greater Manchester Fringe, Birmingham, Camden Fringe
2015 Birmingham Fest, Buxton Fringe

 

Shakespeare’s play, adapted by Edinburgh Fringe award-winning playwright Frank Bramwell. Was Shakespeare right to kill off King Lear at the end of his play? As our starting point we take Kent’s question at the end of the play: “Is this the Promised End?”

 

Below is a selection of quotes from Reviews and Audience Feedback; for more please click here

 

"The production gives an insight into the inner thoughts and feelings of King Lear, exploring the role from the perspective of both an audience and an actor and goes into the heart of the character."

" .  .  . but Young has taken on a great responsibility to perform the grand and complex role at extremely short notice, and to perform alone in an intimate space was highly applauded and clearly respected by every audience member."

"Frank Bramwell directed well using all the space that the Old Joint Stock Theatre provides. Bramwell made excellent use of the dark and eerie atmosphere with slow music as a background to Lear’s speeches throughout the production. General blocking and the ideas behind Lear’s actions were well thought out."

"Bob Young, as Lear, gave a strong and nuanced performance, particularly given that he had to stand in late for the original actor. Being alone contributes to the nihilism, as well as the sense that Lear may be solely responsible for his tragic downfall. King Lear (Alone) gives the audience much to think about, with rich symbolism in an engaging interpretation."

Cordelia / Fool

two sides of the same coin?

Winner of the Birmingham Fest Best Adaptation Award 2018

2018 Bristol Shakespeare Festival, Birmingham Fest, Buxton Fringe

Powerful one-man play, a thought-provoking reworking of King Lear, as told through Cordelia and Fool.

This powerful one-man play is a thought-provoking reworking of the original text to provide a unique insight into the mind of the disturbed King Lear himself.

Traditionally it is thought that the two roles of Cordelia and Fool could have been played by one actor, and this is the contention behind the play. However, more importantly, is the psychological connection between the characters of Lear, Cordelia and Fool – are they, within the context of Shakespeare’s voyage of discovery, all manifestations arising out of the same psychic disturbance?

The play also explores the technique and craft of being an actor, with much of the action taking place within the Tiring House, as well as on the stage where King Lear the play is being performed.

For a selection of quotes from Reviews and Audience Feedback please click here

 

An Audience with Sir John Falstaff
Falstaff's never-before-revealed true-life story!
2018 Bristol Shakespeare Festival, Birmingham Fest, Buxton Fringe

Falstaff, as big as life, revealing all, telling it as it should have been told!

Falstaff regales us with his true-life story - and his never before revealed relationship with William Shakespeare. The fat knight himself, in the flesh, is here to answer the questions that audiences have long sought to ask! 

Falstaff is here to tell us the real truth about his life as one of Literature's biggest characters, also his fractured relationship with his one-time mucker William Shakespeare. As well as regaling the audience with anecdotes and larger-than-life stories, he has, at last, a chance to tell it all, from his point of view. Quotes from Shakespeare’s plays are used, as well as Falstaff’s very own words.

Both the comic and tragic sides to Falstaff’s life are laid bare before the public, in the course of which we get to understand something about how Shakespeare’s possibly greatest character became a literary giant. 

 

For a selection of quotes from Reviews and Audience Feedback please click here

Romeo & Juliet for all Time
Winner of the Hairline Best Play Award 2004
Nominated for the Buxton Fringe Best New Writing Award 2004

2012 Old Joint Stock Theatre

2004 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Buxton Fringe Festival, Birmingham Fringe Festival

 

Romeo & Juliet For all Time-a sequel to the original tragedy, and its performances in Buxton Festival Fringe earned it a nomination of Best Writing Award. Next, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, with 2 four-star reviews and then a Hairline Highlight Award for being one of the top ten plays that stood head and shoulders above other reviewed plays. Revived at the Old Joint Stock Theatre Birmingham July 2012.

 

Below is a selection of quotes from Reviews and Audience Feedback; for more please click here

"The playwright, Frank Bramwell, has struck on a very clever idea and created an intelligently written play which luckily never slips into an English Literature style discussion. An amusing and moving performance."

 

"I don't think I've ever seen such raw energy and physical commitment in a Fringe performance  the audience loved them and showed it enthusiastically at the close."

 

"This was a complex and very clever  new look at the play. Take your sharpest wits with you, and listen carefully, but also be prepared to be carried along by the pace, skill and style of the presentation."

 

"Its very rare for our staff to be so united in their glowing praise of a Fringe Show  but all those who saw it were stunned, and everyone unable to make it this time was very disappointed to have missed out. James, the venue manager, genuinely rated your show among the top six Fringe shows he has seen in his decade working at the Festival. An outstanding show, overall it was both a pleasure and an honour to have Romeo & Juliet For All Time in our venue."

Ophelia, Princess of Denmark

2012 Old Joint Stock Theatre

 

Ophelia, Princess of Denmark is mad. And dead. And trapped in time with Hamlet and Claudius, who seem to have a little problem re-adjusting to their changed circumstances. A play that re-examines the themes and issues that Shakespeare raised in his original play - and some he didn't.

 

Below is a selection of quotes from Reviews and Audience Feedback; for more please click here

 

“It stands as an imaginative, fairly free-wheeling response to the original, in which the delight exists in the exploration itself and in the spirit of invention.”

“The relationships between Hamlet, Ophelia, Claudius and others, various, are taken apart and differently examined; the play put me in mind of the mathematical discipline of permutations and combinations. Debates within the play are both serious and playful.”

“Sharp performances from the three actors. Rebecca Rogers creates with great naturalness; Ben Norris’s Hamlet has great charm.”

Tempest Fugit / Prospero's Will

2006 Greenwich Playhouse, London

Tempest fugit:Prospero's Will is based on The Tempest, the third in the line of Frank Bramwell's especially written plays to re-energise Shakespeare's plays. Prospero is marooned on the magical Island and is soon joined by Caliban, Ariel, Miranda and Ferdinand, there follows a deep exploration of the original plays inner workings as we go through Prospero's mind.

 

Below is a selection of quotes from Reviews and Audience Feedback; for more please click here

 

"Very imaginative idea! I was very impressed with this performance."

 

"All of the performances were excellent."

 

"Congratulations on a most imaginative production with excellent performances by the cast. Bring more of these ideas to Greenwich or, at least, to London."

 

"Well worth catching, an absolute gem! The time certainly flew by!"

 

". . . when it comes to Shakespeare "re-written" I get very sceptical. But I was proven wrong as Heart Productions pulled out all the stops and the audience was treated to a delicious journey through Prospero's messed-up mind."
 

“I went to see this play not knowing what to expect, and I was most impressed with everything I saw. As well as committed, talented actors, all aspects of the production greatly added to the whole evening's entertainment.


"The play itself is a wonderful re-exploration of Shakespeare's original, from a totally different perspective."

 

Macbeth Killing Time

2005 Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Macbeth Killing Time is in the same mould as Romeo and Juliet For all Time - this time Macbeth, who has been waiting for 400 years, is tried for the crimes of the original tragedy by two jobbing Angels, Kramm and Delos. The plays were awarded three and four stars by reviewers.

 

Below is a selection of quotes from Reviews and Audience Feedback; for more please click here

 

". . . a strong piece of Theatre. The mix of the Bards script and Frank Bramwell's words works well here and is helped by the enthusiastic actors."

 

"Frank Bramwell's play, however, is that very rare bird, a genuinely unusual take on the play, which remains true to the spirit (and the words) of the original whilst making us question our assumptions about it."

 

"It's a very original and clever piece of work . . . very compelling and, at times, even amusing . . . "

 

“Excellent, evocative, emotional, real, entertaining!”

 

“This production was not as expected, not dreary Shakespeare but a fine twist by Bramwell. Excellent production for the fringe.”

 

“ . . . a beautiful play, beautifully performed.”

 

AFTER SHAKESPEARE: the Man

Time Out of Joint

2009 Edinburgh Fringe Festival

 

Will Shakespeare is alone, desperately trying to finalise the script of Hamlet. During the long night-time hours, he has two female visitors; one is the Dark Lady of his sonnets, the other is a 'mere milkmaid' who was his first ever love. These muses provide him with rather more dramatic inspiration than he bargains for . . . 

 

Below is a selection of quotes from Reviews and Audience Feedback; for more please click here

"What this play is very good at doing is raising an intrigued eyebrow. It constantly suggests possible inspirations for moments of Shakespeare's plots (I think all from 'Hamlet') and even certain turns of phrase."

"If you want to get an inside look at the trouble and turmoil swirling around in William Shakespeare’s head, look no further than the brilliantly conceived Time out of Joint premiering at the Edinburgh Festival."

"An absolute must-see for any Shakespeare fan or writer who’s ever had an encounter with writer’s block"

Time After Time

2004 ARC Arts Centre

 

Time after Time-our very first production. Using a mixture of Shakespeare's original words and new ones written for the piece, the play was a glorious romp through the night time dreams of William Shakespeare.

 

Below is a selection of quotes from Reviews and Audience Feedback; for more please click here

 

"Overall Time After Time is a superb, delightful production."

 

“Shakespeare’s great creations are forever being interpreted from a new angle, transmuted by the light of innovation."

 

“Time after Time” constitutes the underlying theme of Frank Bramwell’s strongly-researched and excellently presented production, which provokes a plethora of thoughts and dreams.”

 

“An excellent and beautiful setting for an extraordinary and fascinating production.”

 

“Thoroughly enjoyed everything about the performance.”

 

“You have inspired my Shakespearean studies.”

 

“Very clever and integrated famous quotes/references well.”

 

“Overall it was a really enjoyable performance and certainly deserves to be seen by a bigger audience”

 

 

AFTER SHAKESPEARE: the Plays Inside Out

We will soon be turning our attention to producing a series of ‘pocket-size’ versions of the original Shakespeare plays; the events of the original plays, seen through the words of the key characters, modified to fit with the sensibilities of modern-day audiences, as alternative takes on the original plays.

 

We are starting the series with the writing of Lear: Inside Out and we will update the website once the play is ready for performance and for publication.

 

AFTER SHAKESPEARE: the Plays Retold

Our latest venture is a retelling of the original plays by adding to the original script a newly written central Narrative voice; we believe this will not only add another dimension but also give modern audiences more accessibility to them.

 

A Midsummer Night's Dream is the first to be worked on in this fashion. The introduction of a Narrative voice in the play allows us to perform the piece as a Radio play within a Theatre setting. This same device also lends itself to the play being produced as a stand-alone book.