Love Is My Sin – January 2011


By: Wiliam Shakespeare

Directed by: Peter Brook

Venue: Swan Theatre

Date: Friday 7th January 2011

This piece was devised by Peter Brook to link a number of Shakespeare’s sonnets together. First performed in Paris, here we had Michael Pennington and Natasha Parry delivering a series of sonnets exploring love and time from different angles. While I’m fascinated by the sonnets, I find their language too complex to be readily understood, and so although some lines came across really well, for the most part “it was all Greek to me”. I found Natasha Parry’s delivery a little weak, and our position didn’t help, as our view was regularly blocked. The music was charming, but with the heat in the auditorium, I nodded off a few times when the music took over. Still, it was a pleasant evening, and I would still be happy to attend other sonnet readings in future.

The highlight of the evening was an unexpected treat – Peter Brook and Michael Boyd in a post-show conversation. Paul Allen made the third, and I was totally taken with Peter Brook’s deep listening presence, and the tremendously good sense that he talked. His view on professors and their declarations about Will’s work were spot on (and good fun), and although I don’t remember all the details, I thoroughly enjoyed his contributions.

Michael Boyd was equally entertaining. In fact, the two made a great double act. I left the theatre feeling I’d been in the presence of two masters of theatre, that as with great theatre I’d been uplifted and improved just by being there. A great night.

© 2011 Sheila Evans at

11 And 12 – February 2010

Experience: 6/10

Adapted from the work of Amadou Hampate Ba by Marie-Helene Estienne

Directed by Peter Brook

Company: C.I.C.T./Theatre des Bouffes Nord

Venue: Barbican Theatre

Date: Saturday 20th February 2010

What a day we’ve had! Congestion on our usual route to Haywards Heath meant a long detour via Crawley. We caught the last possible train to London Bridge, only to find that the various tube line closures had led to a horde of would-be travellers clogging up the platforms of the Northern Line, so we had to wait, in a growing crowd, for the gates to open. After enduring all the jostling that such a pent-up mass of people creates, we were glad to finally get to Moorgate and the open, empty spaces of the Barbican, that cultural hub in the City. As Steve said, we thought things couldn’t get any worse, and then…..

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