The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk (2016): Daniel Jamieson

The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk

★★★★½

(Kneehigh Theatre at Wilton’s Music Hall, 18 January 2018)

On 6 July 1915, a few weeks before their wedding, Bella Rosenfeld arrived at Marc Chagall’s house in Vitebsk, carrying a bouquet of flowers wrapped in several colourful shawls. It was his birthday – not a day he’d ever particularly celebrated – but she was determined to make it special, not least because her wealthy family had been grumbling about the match between a master jeweller’s daughter and a penniless artist. This moment – a gesture of love and acceptance; an offering – would resonate throughout both their lives and it forms one of the key scenes in Daniel Jamieson’s colourful, playful, poignant, meltingly romantic play, which is currently on tour. J and I saw it in the faded glory of Wilton’s, where it seems to fit perfectly: a magical glimpse of a lost age, a two-man show dominated by splendid performances and simplicity.

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1595/96): William Shakespeare

Titania (Meow Meow) on her flowery bed

★★★★

(Shakespeare’s Globe, 30 April-11 September 2016)

This Midsummer Night’s Dream had its work cut out to create the appropriate ambiance. The skies of London were weighed down with white clouds, biting winds swept down the streets and, all in all, the mood was more fit for Twelfth Night. Wrapped up against the cold, I came with some trepidation, and not only because of the weather. I’d been wondering what Emma Rice’s tenure as Globe Director would bring.

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