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Shakespeare at Streatham Hill Theatre

From the schedule at the back of the John Cresswell book about the theatre, we have identified 7 Shakespeare plays as having been put on there in total. While there were three in 1932, there were none at all after September 1938. During the war years the theatre put on very light fare, but it’s a shame that there were no productions after the re-opening in 1950: a reflection of changing tastes perhaps.

Shakespeare himself “appears” at the theatre on the end plates of the seating rows:

Photo from Historic England.

Othello – July 1930

Paul Robeson, claimed to be the first black actor to play the title role on the London stage (although in the early 19th century black actor Ira Aldridge performed the role in London, but has largely been omitted from history).
Croydon–born Peggy Ashcroft as Desdemona.
Also: Sybil Thorndike, Ralph Richardson, Alastair Sim, Andrew Cruikshank.

Julius Caesar – April 1932

A very lavish, Victorian-style production.

Merchant of Venice – May 1932

Ernest Milton as Shylock.

Twelfth Night – September 1932

Costumes and sets in black, white, silver. Much use of music.

Hamlet – April 1935

Definitive production.
John Gielgud in title role.
Jessica Tandy as Ophelia.
Alec Guinness as Osric – a role for which he was much praised, and acclaimed as definitive.

Romeo and Juliet – April 1936

John Gielgud and Peggy Ashcroft.

Midsummer Night’s Dream – September 1938

No details currently available.

Plus – Shakespeare Plays: Bingo! – July 2016

In July 2016, commemorating Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary of his death, Streatham Theatre Company presented scenes from the above plays, plus Macbeth, as part of a promenade tour of the theatre, for the Streatham Festival that year.

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