Theater production of ‘Shakespeare in Love’ a smashing success

By Mila Whiteley,

The reviews are in for the theater production of Shakespeare in Love that opened July 23 at Noël Coward Theatre in London and it is official: critics are raving about the new show.

The newest film-to-theater adaptation on a list that includes works such as Dirty Dancing and The Bodyguard, Shakespeare in Love is an adaption of the film of the same name, which was made in 1998, according to The Arts Desk. Directed by John Madden, the film won an Oscar not only for Best Picture but also for its Best Original Screenplay, leaving the production a lot to live up to.

Apparently, however, it rises to the occasion, with critics such as The Guardian’s Michael Billington giving the production 4 out of 5 stars.

Shakespeare in Love is the story of young Shakespeare on the cusp of his writing career, dealing with writer’s block. However, when he meets Viola de Lesseps, who dreams of being an actor, then a male-only occupation, the two fall in love, a story which culminates in one of Shakespeare’s greatest works, the tragedy Romeo and Juliet according to the Associated Press.

While Shakespeare in Love focuses on the love affair of the Bard and Viola, it also focuses on the love of theater. Speaking about the play, playwright Lee Hall told the Associated Press that, "The theater is the perfect place to do a show about theater. You can make all those gags that you can't possibly make in the film."

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