The second year of director Sam Mendes’ Anglo-American Bridge Project couples two Shakespeare plays with shared themes. Both feature a daughter whose exiled father (a Duke) has been usurped by his own brother, as well as at least one pair of head-over-heels young lovers.

Juliet Rylance shines as a naive Miranda and cross-dressed Rosalind, whilst her real life partner Christian Camargo’s whey-faced spirit Ariel fares far better in a low-key but atmospheric Tempest than does his rather insipid Orlando in a lusty AYLI heavily tinged with gloom. Michelle Beck’s noble Celia gives devoted support,  Thomas Sadoski and Anthony O’Donnell are a vibrant comic duo twice over, and although Stephen Dillane’s melancholy Jaques effortlessly commands attention, his low-key Prospero takes understatement a step too far speaking in frustratingly hushed, barely audible  tones.


Old Vic, The Cut, SE1 8NB 
0844 871 7628)
Tube: Waterloo

Until: 21 August  
£10-£47.00 each play

Review: Louise Kingsley