Bingo: Scenes of Love and Money – Chichester Festival Theatre  

After his recent exploits as Prospero and Macbeth, Patrick Stewart delivers a majestic performance as the Bard himself in Chichester Festival Theatre’s latest production of Edward Bond’s 1974 play Bingo – Scenes of Money and Death.
The play delivers exactly what its title suggests: alternating scenes concerned with Shakespeare’s financial worries due to land issues and his impending death, suicide in this version. The  subject matter and dialogue is mainly dry and at times pointless, invented by Bond from documented sources but with much conjecture.

What makes this a great evening’s entertainment are the superbly designed sets with their clever changes – the two most noteworthy being the hanging of a young woman and a very original snow scene, and also some wonderful acting, not just from Sir Patrick himself but especially from Richard McCabe as a very humorous (and drunk) Ben Jonson.

This provides  light relief at the beginning of the second act. Catherine Cusack skilfully plays Shakespeare’s daughter, Judith, as a cause of torment to her father. The content is not helpful for English students in their Shakespearean studies but the theatrical experience is.

Review by
Wendy Marshall