Tuesday, April 25, 2017


Happy birthday to William Shakespeare... born 453 years ago (and died 401 years ago).

Eight years ago I compiled four Top Ten lists of my favourite Shakespeare performances - lead & supporting male and lead & supporting female.

Eight years is a long time in theatre-going - although I have added only one new female lead performance - so to celebrate the greatest playwright ever, here is my updated list of favourite lead actresses and their performances in key roles; these are the ones that all new interpretations are judged against:

BEST ACTRESS (in alphabetical order):

 BRENDA BLETHYN (Helena - 1983)

 SUSAN FLEETWOOD (Titania - 1983)

GLENDA JACKSON (King Lear - 2016)

GERALDINE JAMES (Portia - 1989)

VANESSA REDGRAVE (Cleopatra - 1986)

VANESSA REDGRAVE (Katharina - 1986)

EMMA THOMPSON (Helena - 1990)

SOPHIE THOMPSON (Rosalind - 1990)

SOPHIE THOMPSON (Isabella - 2004)

ZOE WANAMAKER (Beatrice - 2008)

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