Having been provoked by Philip Fisher’s selection of dream productions that he wishes has been recorded and made available on video, I have taken some time to choose my own top 10, which readers might easily discern have been influenced by my background in obtaining a doctorate based around Shakespeare studies.

In no particular order, here is my selection:

  1. Lysistrata by Aristophanes in an ancient Greek amphitheatre to compare what is lost in modern translation.
  2. A Shakespearean performance of The Taming of the Shrew (1595?) to see how boy players personated women on stage, their painting (cosmetics), and for first-hand contemporary views on gender.
  3. Preferably by the same company in Rep with The Taming of the Shrew, a circa 1611 performance of The Woman’s Prize or The Tamer Tamed—John Fletcher’s response to Shakespeare’s Taming that echoes Lysistrata.
  4. A staging of Shakespeare’s lost play, Cardenio (seated next to Shakespeare so that I could ask questions about it).
  5. Thomas Middleton’s short-lived but hugely contentious A Game at Chess (c.1624) to gauge why this play was the hot ticket of the day.
  6. A Jacobean performance of The Winter’s Tale (c.1611) for Shakespeare’s famous stage direction, “exit, pursued by a bear” (and the difference it would make watching the play at a time of bear presence / mistreatment in London).
  7. A visit to Middle Temple (Fleet Street, London) c.1602 for John Marston’s What You Will (to answer my questions on the play’s title and language, left unanswered).
  8. To be present at a London performance of Shakespeare’s Othello starring Ira Aldridge (c.1825).
  9. Michael Boyd's Shakespeare Histories Tetralogy for the RSC at the Roundhouse (2008)—in person (all eight?!) Or filmed using today’s technology (unlike the bird's-eye view videos currently available), particularly for Jonathan Slinger’s Richard, Duke of York / Richard III and Katie Stephens’s morphing from Joan of Arc into Margaret of Anjou. As an aside, this was also my first introduction to British Theatre Guide, since I sat next to London Editor Philip Fisher, who recruited me during an interval in Henry V.
  10. To see again or via streaming: Jonathan Munby directing King Lear at Minerva Theatre Chichester (2017) with Sir Ian McKellen as the king but more specifically for Damien Molony’s Edmund.

I do hope that this list has given readers food for thought and might perhaps even tempt some others to prepare their own fantasy lists.