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Cheek by Jowl is an international theatre company founded in the United Kingdom by director Declan Donnellan and designer Nick Ormerod in 1981.[1] Donnellan and Ormerod are Cheek by Jowl's artistic directors and together direct and design all of Cheek by Jowl's productions. Cheek by Jowl's recent productions include Russian-language productions of William Shakespeare's Measure for Measure and Francis Beaumont's The Knight of the Burning Pestle, an English-language production of The Winter's Tale[2] and a French-language production of Shakespeare's Pericles, Prince of Tyre. Cheek by Jowl is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation[3] and an Associate Company of the Barbican Centre, London.[4]

The company has performed in the UK since 1981 and internationally since 1984, when its productions of Vanity Fair and Pericles were invited to the Almagro, Valladolid, and Jerusalem festivals. Between 1985 and 1993, Cheek by Jowl performed 13 productions at the Donmar Warehouse[5]. This marked the company’s West End debut, which led Cheek by Jowl to receive 4 Laurence Olivier awards out of 10 nominations[6]. As of 2017, Cheek by Jowl has performed in over 400 cities in over 40 countries, including Peter Brook's Bouffes du Nord in Paris, the Chekhov International Festival in Moscow and New York's Brooklyn Academy of Music.

The core of Cheek by Jowl's work has always been Shakespeare; by the time of their production of The Winter's Tale in 2015, Cheek by Jowl had produced thirteen of Shakespeare's plays. The company has also consistently produced other classical works of European drama, both in translation and in their original language. Cheek by Jowl have given the British premiere of 10 works of European classics, including Le Cid, by Jean Racine and Andromaque, by Pierre Corneille. In 1989, Cheek by Jowl also produced Donnellan's own play Lady Betty, which was based on the true story of a hangwoman in the West of Ireland around the time of the French Revolution.[7]

Cheek by Jowl is notable for producing work in English, French and Russian.

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Cheek by Jowl in RussiaEdit

In 1999, the Russian Chekhov International Theatre Festival commissioned Donnellan and Ormerod to form their own company of Russian actors in Moscow. This sister company performs in Russia and internationally. Cheek by Jowl's latest Russian production Measure for Measure is the company's first co-production with Moscow's Pushkin Theatre.[8]

Cheek by Jowl in FranceEdit

In 2007, Paris based theatre director Peter Brook invited Donnellan and Ormerod to form a company of French actors; together with Paris’ Bouffes du Nord theatre, Cheek by Jowl co-produced Andromaque, which toured throughout Europe in 2008 and 2009. In 2012, using this same company of French actors Cheek by Jowl went on to produce Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi.[9] In 2018, with this French ensemble, Cheek by Jowl produced its first Shakespeare play in the French language: Pericles, Prince of Tyre.[10]

In 2014 Cheek by Jowl celebrated the 20th anniversary of their As You Like It revival with a screening of the production in the Noel Coward Theatre in London, formly the Albery Theatre, one of the venues where the revival toured to in 1994 and 1995.[11] The production was filmed, and screened with permission from the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Theatre and Performance Archive.[12] The screening was attended by director Declan Donnellan and designer Nick Ormerod, as well as actor Adrian Lester, who played Rosalind in the production. The play originally opened in 1991 with an all-male cast, touring to, amongst others, New York, Tokyo, Belfast, Adelaide and Rio de Janeiro.[13]

Cheek by Jowl's production of John Ford's Tis Pity She's a Whore opened in Sceaux, Paris, in 2011 and was revived three times between 2011 and 2014.[14] The production, described as 'electrifying' by The Independent, toured around the world, including the Barbican Centre in London, the Holland Festival in Amsterdam and the International Shakespeare Festival in Romania.[15]. The company's three most recent productions, Ubu Roi (2013–16), Measure for Measure (2013–17), and The Winter's Tale (2016–2017), have all been livestreamed for free to audiences across the world.[16]

ProductionsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Cheek by Jowl, theatre company: records, 1981–1999". Theatre Collections. London: Victoria and Albert Museum. Retrieved 8 May 2014.
  2. ^ "Cheek by Jowl Website: Company Information". information. London: Cheek by Jowl Theatre Company. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  3. ^ "Cheek by Jowl Website: Company Information". information. London: Cheek by Jowl Theatre Company. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  4. ^ "Cheek by Jowl Website: Company Information". information. London: Cheek by Jowl Theatre Company. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  5. ^ Kabatchnik, Amnon (14 August 2017). Blood on the Stage, 1600 to 1800: Milestone Plays of Murder, Mystery, and Mayhem. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 9781538106167.
  6. ^ "Awards". Cheek by Jowl. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  7. ^ "Cheek by Jowl Website: Company Information". information. London: Cheek by Jowl Theatre Company. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  8. ^ "Shakespeare in Russian: Measure for Measure". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  9. ^ "Cheek by Jowl Website: Company Information". information. London: Cheek by Jowl Theatre Company. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  10. ^ http://www.cheekbyjowl.com/periclesprincedetyr.php
  11. ^ "Cheek by Jowl As You Like It Screening". London: Whatsonstage.com. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  12. ^ "Cheek by Jowl As You Like It Screening". London: Whatsonstage.com. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  13. ^ "Cheek by Jowl As You Like It Screening". London: Whatsonstage.com. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  14. ^ "Cheek by Jowl Website: Archive". information. London: Cheek by Jowl Theatre Company. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  15. ^ "Cheek by Jowl 'Tis Pity Review". The Independent. London. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  16. ^ "Cheek by Jowl Website: Productions". information. London: Cheek by Jowl Theatre Company. Retrieved 24 October 2017.

External linksEdit