Happy New Year, everyone!
Now that the New Year’s Eve hangovers have mostly worn off and the Christmas diet of sweets and pudding is behind us, we can look forward to what 2017 has to offer.
Sadly there’s not too much to get your teeth into for January – here’s what we’ve found for you in (and around) Wales.
The Tempest – Various cinemas across Wales, 11th January
It would be impossible to kick off our recommendations for January with anything other than this.
Directed by Gregory Doran, this production of Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ is groundbreaking in every sense of the word.
It uses motion capture, just like for a CGI character in a film or video game, to create a virtual Ariel (played by Mark Quartley) who dominates the stage and exists in a fantastic realm of his own – not quite real, yet powerfully tangible.
The motion capture is completely live too, meaning that Ariel can engage with the other actors just as he would in a traditional production.
This cinema screening won’t quite capture the scale of watching it in the theatre, but it’s a neat way to catch an absolute must-see production.
It’ll be shown on the big screen across Wales on the 11th January – check your local cinemas to book tickets.
And if you are interested in seeing ‘The Tempest’ live, it’s transferring to The Barbican in London this summer – tickets are available here:
The Two Noble Kinsmen – Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, various dates throughout January
If you want to see Shakespeare on stage this month, you’re going to have to make the short hop over Wales’s border to Stratford-upon-Avon.
The RSC’s production of ‘The Two Noble Kinsmen’ enters its final month in January, and it’s well worth going if you’ve got an evening free.
Cowritten with John Fletcher, and based on Chaucer’s ‘The Knight’s Tale’, this lesser-known play is probably the last one Shakespeare ever wrote.
It’s the story, as is so often the case in Shakespeare, of two friends who fall in love with the same woman.
This RSC production is great fun to watch and it’s incredibly lively – the section just before the interval is one of the wildest, craziest sequences you’ll see on an RSC stage for a long time.
If it sounds right up your street, then get on it – tickets are available here:
Those are our two recommendations for January, but looking ahead to February there’s a huge event you should be getting tickets for.
Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru are staging a Welsh language production of Macbeth like no other – it’ll be performed live in the grounds of Caerphilly Castle.
It’s worth thinking about, even if you can’t speak Welsh!
For now though, we’re gonna try and sleep off a little bit more of the January blues before twelfth night arrives.