Review Round Up: Measure for Measure, Donmar Warehouse

Josie Rourke directs this new production of William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure now playing at the Donmar Warehouse. Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews… 

Measure for measure

WhatsOnStage: **** “What Rourke’s production becomes is a brisk, uncompromising meditation on the nature of power and law, and how gender is intertwined with them.”

The Guardian: *** “While the evening is ingenious and Atwell and Lowden give strong performances, the production suggests that you don’t need a double Measure to reinforce the text’s relevance.”

The Telegraph: **** “It’s beautifully staged and expertly performed –a pocket-sized version of a great play; but then we go into virgin territory, propelled into 2018 by Isabella’s wrath.”

The Stage: *** “It’s a really slick production, handsomely designed by Peter McKintosh and well acted, but the first run-through of the play, whittled down to its essentials, is more satisfying than the attempt to update it.”

The Independent: *** “Not as trenchant as one might have hope but a show that gives abrasive new life to the idea of a play of two halves.”

Broadway World: *** “A flawed experiment, then, but still a bold, timely and – in places – truly revelatory one.”

Evening Standard: *** “Rourke’s interpretation raises unsettling questions about power and gender, but it’s too on-the-nose to feel truly subversive.”

The Times: ** “This is not so much a play as a project and it feels as if Josie Rourke, the outgoing artistic director of the Donmar, has been thinking about it for far too long. She strips back Shakespeare’s play to its bare bones and has it performed for us twice: once in Elizabethan splendour and then all over again, but set in 2018.”

Monstagigz: “we suspect that this production of Measure For Measure will be the most pertinent, thrilling, thought provoking  and vivid Shakespeare that you will see this year.”

British Theatre Guide: “Fans of the leading actors should definitely give this production a go, while those in love with Shakespeare might also be intrigued to see what Josie Rourke and the team have made of the play, although some devotees might have preferred a single version, whether ancient or modern, with rather less of the filleting.”

Hollywood Reporter: “if the intention here is to draw further nuance from the play’s dissection of sex and power — to consider our perception of those abusive power dynamics when the boot is on the other foot — the over-egged execution rather botches it.”

Theatre Cat: “This is a made for measure Measure-For-Measure. Its greatest achievement is hacking the flabby old Jacobian down to the right side of 90 minutes. It rollicks through, giving a booster jab to the drama but keeping quiet pauses and poetry.”

Measure for Measure continues to play at the Donmar Warehouse until the 24th November. For more information visit:



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