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Review: Bard from the Barn

Think Shakespeare is the greatest playwright of all time? This is definitely for you! Think Shakespeare is outdated? This is also for you! Barn Theatre presents updated, fresh and exciting revivals of Shakespeare's greatest characters on Youtube, in short and concise episodes. A range of plays, characters and settings set the foundations for how this lockdown project is very successful, and season 2 is currently also being uploaded.

After finding Barn Theatre on Twitter, I thought this was worth investing my time into, since I do have a few favourite monologues and plays of Shakespeare’s from my A level and university studies! The time and effort put into each episode is consistent and clever, with clips from present day broadcasts and twitter accounts seamlessly linked into a character’s monologue. Episode 2 stood out, as it sets up Mark Antony as a news reporter, played by Aaron Sidwell, from one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays, Julius Caesar. Sidwell is passionate and engaging as an actor who brings his own modern twist to the scene. I also enjoyed episode 14, where Richard III meets Zoom. Zoom has haunted most of us during lockdown as the only connection to work or friends. The characters of the scene meet on Zoom, which is comedic and yet, entirely appropriate for the modern-day context.

I found all of season one filled with talented actors, high quality technical features and inventive contexts. My only desire for the next season is to include more women and BAME actors. It seems largely male dominated, and so more diversity would be encouraged! I would also love to see Portia’s monologue from Julius Caesar, as this is a favourite of mine!

Bard From The Barn launches new episodes every weekday at 7:30pm, as well as weekly reviews every Sunday at 10am on their Youtube channel. You can find these episodes here.

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