A poor physician's daughter cures the King of France, and in return is promised the hand of any nobleman she wishes. But the man she chooses, the proud young Count of Rosillion, refuses to consummate the forced marriage and flees to Florence. Depicting the triumph of trickery over youthful arrogance, All's Well that Ends Well is among Shakespeare's darkest romantic comedies, yet it remains a powerful tribute to the strength of love.
When Rosalind is banished by her uncle, who has usurped her father's throne, she flees to the forest of Arden where her exiled father holds court. There, dressed as a boy to avoid discovery, she encounters the man she loves – now a fellow exile – and resolves to remain in disguise to test his feelings for her. A gloriously sunny comedy, As You Like It is an exuberant combination of concealed identities and verbal jousting, reconciliations and multiple weddings.
Two sets of identical twins, separated at sea as children, find themselves in the same city for the first time as adults. Soon, their friends mistake the twins for one another and bewilderment abounds, as the wife of one man declares the other to be her husband, pronouncing him mad when he denies the claim. Exuberant, complex and brilliantly farcical, this is a hilarious comedy of confusion and ultimate reunion.
The King of Britain, enraged by his daughter's disobedience in marrying against his wishes, banishes his new son-in-law. Having fled to Rome, the exiled husband makes a foolish wager with a villain he encounters there gambling on the fidelity of his abandoned wife. Combining courtly menace and horror, comedy and melodrama, Cymbeline is a moving depiction of two young lovers driven apart by deceit and self-doubt.
A King and his lords form an austere academy, swearing to have no contact with women for three years. But when the Princess of neighbouring France arrives with her female attendants, their pledge is quickly placed under strain. Soon all are in smitten and confusion abounds, as each struggles to secretly declare his love in this comedy of deception, desire and mistaken identity.
In the Duke's absence from Vienna, his strict deputy Angelo revives an ancient law forbidding sex outside marriage. The young Claudio, whose fiancee is pregnant, is condemned to death by the law. His sister Isabella, soon to become a nun, pleads with Lord Angelo for her brother's life. But her purity so excites Angelo that he offers her a monstrous bargain he will save Claudio if Isabella will visit him that night.
In need of money, the fat and foolish Falstaff devises a scheme to seduce two married women and steal their husbands' wealth. By talking to each other, however, the wives soon discover his plan and begin to plot their own revenge. Relentlessly inventive, this comic humiliation of a foolish would-be seducer is a lively, compelling and ultimately joyous celebration of the all-conquering power of laughter.
In The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare weaves together two ancient folk tales, one involving a vengeful, greedy creditor trying to exact a pound of flesh, the other involving a marriage suitor's choice among three chests and thereby winning his (or her) mate
A young woman flees Athens with her lover, only to be pursued by her would-be husband and by her best friend. Unwittingly, all four find themselves in an enchanted forest where fairies and sprites soon take an interest in human affairs, dispensing magical love potions and casting mischievous spells. In this dazzling comedy, confusion ends in harmony, as love is transformed, misplaced, and ultimately restored.
A vivacious woman and a high-spirited man both claim that they are determined never to marry. But when their friends trick them into believing that each harbours secret feelings for the other, they begin to question whether their witty banter and sharp-tongued repartee conceals something deeper. Schemes abound, misunderstandings proliferate and matches are eventually made in this sparkling and irresistible comedy.
This action-packed production is a tempest-tossed hero’s quest; a magical mystery tour spanning decades and continents, culminating in one of the most joyous reunions in the Shakespearean canon. Featuring pirates, goddesses, jousting knights, and a lost princess, Pericles, Prince of Tyre is a journey you don’t want to miss!
The beautiful but sharp-tongued Katherina has sworn never to accept the demands of any would-be husband. But when she is pursued by the wily Petruchio, it seems that she has finally met her match. And as he meets her own caustic words with a feigned, capricious cruelty, Katherina quickly comes to understand the absurdity of her shrewish behaviour, in one of the greatest of all comic battles of the sexes.
A storm rages. Prospero and his daughter watch from their desert island as a ship carrying the royal family is wrecked. Miraculously, all on board survive. Plotting, mistaken identities, bewitching love and drunkenness follow as the travellers explore the strange place of spirits and monsters on which they have landed. They soon begin to realize all is not as it seems.
It is the seventh year of the Trojan War. The Greek army is camped outside Troy and Achilles - their military hero - refuses to fight. Inside the city Troilus, the Trojan King's son, falls in love with Cressida, whose father has defected to the Greek camp. In an exchange of prisoners the couple are split - they believe forever. The honour of lovers and soldiers is tested as a fierce battle begins and heroes must prove their worth.
Separated from her twin brother Sebastian after a shipwreck, Viola disguises herself as a boy to serve the Duke of Illyria. Wooing a countess on his behalf, she is stunned to find herself the object of his beloved's affections. With the arrival of Viola's brother, and a trick played upon the countess's steward, confusion reigns in this romantic comedy of mistaken identity.
Best friends Valentine and Proteus travel to the big city to seek their fortunes, only to find themselves rivals, both madly in love with the beautiful Silvia, daughter of Milan’s most powerful duke. A fast-paced, exuberant tale of friendship, romance, and secret identities, featuring a band of outlaws, two bumbling servants, and one unforgettable dog.
The jealous King of Sicily becomes convinced that his wife is carrying the child of his best friend. Imprisoned and put on trial, the Queen collapses when the King refuses to accept the divine confirmation of her innocence. The child is abandoned to die on the coast of Bohemia. But when she is found and raised by a shepherd, it seems redemption may be possible.