Shakespeare’s Slave OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    May 29, 2011
    Closing:
    June 18, 2011

    Theater: Clurman Theatre / 410 West 42nd Street, New York, New York, 10036

    Synopsis: 

    What if William Shakespeare had never written Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth, King Lear and all his other later masterpieces? In 1596 Shakespeare had a creative crisis. Broke and bedeviled by self-doubt, he was unable to write the "Henry IV" play commissioned by the Lord Chamberlain. The question of whether "to be or not to be" hung by a thread - until Shakespeare met one of London's first African slaves - who changed his life.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Shakespeare’s Slave

    A Love-Struck Romeo Finds Inspiration at Last

    Catherine Rampell

    June 1, 2011: Unlike its writer’s-blocked hero “Shakespeare’s Slave” suffers from a few too many ideas. The play, presented in repertory with an adaptation of “Henry IV, Parts I and 2” at the Harold Clurman Theater, is about a fictional romance between William Shakespeare and an African slave. Unfortunately it tries to cram in just about every literary theme imaginable: racism, sexism, grief, greed, revenge, ambition, infidelity, pearl-clutching hypocrisy. It also grafts the origins of several of Shakespeare’s masterworks — including “Hamlet,” “Othello,” the Henry IV plays and the “Dark Lady” sonnets — onto an already overloaded plot.

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