play analysis

Robert Icke’s Hamlet: Staging Shakespeare for a Modern Audience

After watching Robert Icke’s Hamlet when broadcast on BBC Two the other day, I was keen to add a slightly different video to my How Plays Work series to consider the role of the director in this adaptation. Particularly, I was really interested in how some of Icke’s choices go beyond simply applying a filter to the original text but making fundamental dramaturgical interventions which alter how entire scenes make meaning.

I believe Hamlet should still be up on BBC iPlayer for the next few weeks or so and, even if you don’t get a chance to check out my video, I’d certainly suggest giving it a watch!

The Plays of Tony Kushner: Angels in America as Epic Theatre

Having watched both parts of Tony Kushner’s magnificent Angels in America as part of the National Theatre’s live broadcast of Marianne Elliot’s mind-blowing production, I was really keen to do some reflecting on it.

And so, I thought I’d use this as an excuse to add another video to my series in which I look at some of the English language’s greatest playwrights.

(The Plays of Tony Kushner: Angels in America as Epic Theatre |

Performance Analysis: The Hypocrite by Richard Bean

This week I headed up to Stratford-upon-Avon to catch the Royal Shakespeare Company, Hull Truck and Hull City of Culture 2017’s production of The Hypocrite by Richard Bean. Directed by Phillip Breen and starring Mark Addy and Caroline Quentin in the lead roles this was a very enjoyable watch and, I think, tells us an awful lot about the English Revolution, some of its successes but mainly its failures.

(The Hypocrite by Richard Bean at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre (Hull Truck & RSC) | Performance Analysis |

Play Analysis: Henrik Ibsen

The third video in my Playwriting Tips series in which I analyse the work of some of the world’s greatest playwrights. This week, I’m looking at the work of Henrik Ibsen, specifically his most famous works A Doll’s House and An Enemy of the People.

(Playwriting Tips: Henrik Ibsen | Political Theatre in An Enemy of the People and A Doll’s House |

Play Analysis: Caryl Churchill

This week I decided to take a deep dive into the work of Caryl Churchill, particularly looking at her work such as Love and Information and Seven Jewish Children where she makes use of unattributed dialogue in order to focus on an idea or concept rather than a character.

(Playwriting Tips: Caryl Churchill | The Dramaturgy of an Idea in Seven Jewish Children |

Vlog #6 Theatre Criticism: Reviews, Analyses and Quality

This week, I wanted to spend a bit of time talking about reviews, analyses and quality. Partly, this is an attempt to further outline what I’m attempting to (and not to do) with my YouTube channel.

But, also, with the cutting of Lyn Gardner’s Guardian blog, theatre criticism is going through something of an interesting, transitory stage at the moment.

Finally, the introduction of Arts Council England’s new Quality Metrics has caused some discussion as to how we measure quality in art.

(Theatre Criticism: Reviews, Analyses and Quality |

Play Analysis: Arthur Miller

Usually, at this point in the week, I report back on a piece of theatre that I’ve seen over on my YouTube Channel. Though I saw a couple of things last week, neither I felt particularly compelled to make a video about. Also, I’ve been on something of a role with my thesis writing over the past few days and so was keen to crack on with that.

So, I’ve done something slightly different this week and uploaded a video I made a little while ago but never put online. It’s an analysis of some of Arthur Miller’s work including Death of a Salesman and All My Sons which looks at how he uses past and present to dramatic effect. This, of course, being an inheritance from Ibsen who was a huge influence on Miller.

I may do some more videos of this type on weeks where I don’t necessarily see so much theatre as I think it’s interesting to see what I (and, hopefully, other playwrights) might be able to learn from analysing the work of some of the greatest playwrights.

Let me know if you enjoy it and I’ll think about doing some more of these.

(Playwriting Tips: Arthur Miller |