Review Round Up: The Two Noble Kinsmen, Shakespeare’s Globe

Barrie Rutter directs this rare revival of William Shakespeare and John Fletcher play. But what have critics made of it? 


How long is forever? When the imprisoned Palamon and Arcite vow eternal friendship, they don’t expect that anything will come between them. But then from their cell window they see the beautiful Emilia, and their priorities take a sudden and violent turn. In this late romance, Fletcher and Shakespeare examine love in all its fluid and complex forms.

The Guardian: *** “Two Noble Kinsmen is performed rarely, and this production, while fun, makes only a mixed case for this to change.”

Please Mind the Blog: **** ” A welcome performance of a lesser known play, providing as much entertainment as food for thought –  the music and dance are real highlights.”

The Upcoming: ***** “The Two Noble Kinsmen is joyful, spectacular and easy to follow for those who are new to the dramatist’s canon. And as this particular play so rarely gets an outing – compared to the Bard’s better-known works – it is an absolute must-see this season.”

The Stage: **** “It’s a little gem of a production, one that contains that genuine charm of storytelling in an outdoor setting. Watching it really does feel like a worker’s holiday.”

The Independent: “But The Two Noble Kinsmen is absolutely worth a watch, especially when the production is as good as this one.”

London **** “There’s certainly a sometimes manic eccentricity but also vivid exuberance to the Globe’s fast, funny production.”

Time Out: *** “In its blithe misogyny, ‘The Two Noble Kinsmen’ verges on being as problematic as the more popular ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ or ‘The Merchant of Venice’, only without the redeeming feature of being a good play.”

The Times: **** “Barrie Rutter’s production serves up the drama’s erratic plot with glowing charm and makes vivid and affecting sense of the sexual politics.”

Evening Standard: *** “It feels both remote and truncated, and Barrie Rutter’s lively production fails, as most do, to make sense of it.”

Broadway World: **** “The Two Noble Kinsmen is one of the less popular and slightly more niche Jacobean plays, therefore it might not be the easiest plot to follow for the general public. However, Rutter’s touches of razzle-dazzle ambience give his take a clear and vibrant vibe that immediately captures the crowd and engages the minds.”

A Younger Theatre: “The show is lighter than most of Shakespeare’s earlier work and pleasant to watch, but I can see why it has been left by the wayside.”

British Theatre Guide: “The Two Noble Kinsmen may not be the best play of its time but this PC production is great fun and a worthy addition to Michelle Terry’s inaugural Globe season.”

The Two Noble Kinsmen will continue to play at the Shakespeare’s Globe until the 30th June. For more information visit:


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