Tag Archives: Matt Stubbs

The Three Musketeers – 3 Stars


The Three Musketeers

St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden

Reviewed – 8th August 2018


“the rip-roaring finale in the church brought the audience to its feet in an explosion of cheers and applause”


This is Iris Theatre’s 10th season in the gardens of St. Paul’s Church in Covent Garden. They produce two shows over the course of the summer – a Shakespeare and a family show – and this year’s swashbuckling adventure from 17th century France is a perfect confection for a family night out in London on a summer’s evening. The action takes place in three different playing arenas in the gardens themselves, and also moves into the church. Although moving between locations couldn’t help but slow things down a bit, the delight of the different mise-en-scènes more than made up for it, and the rip-roaring finale in the church brought the audience to its feet in an explosion of cheers and applause.

Dumas’ original novel is a behemoth of a book, and credit must go to Daniel Winder, Iris Theatre’s Artistic Director, for distilling it into a largely comprehensible two hour play. The younger children in the audience would certainly have found elements of the story confusing, in particular differentiating between the the national conflict – England vs France – and the French religious conflict – Catholic vs Huguenot – but the pursuit of the Queen’s diamonds was a good thread for them to follow, with excellent visual cues to help them through the more labyrinthine plot developments. Paul-Ryan Carberry’s sure-handed direction steered a steady course throughout, using elements of slapstick and pantomime with a deft touch to balance the darker themes and more baroque plot twists. In addition, Winder’s decision to turn d’Artagnan into a woman worked brilliantly, and the young female musketeer was a fantastic counterpoint to the magnificently malevolent Milady, played with immense hauteur and brio by Ailsa Joy.

Working in the open air in the middle of Central London is immensely challenging for an actor, and the predominantly young cast attacked the task with relish, and they were aided too by Adam Welsh’s excellent sound design. Inevitably, many of the performances were painted with pretty broad strokes – open air theatre is rarely the place to go for subtlety and nuance – but there was a terrific ensemble spirit, and some excellent multi-role work too, particularly from the charismatic Stephan Boyce (Planchet/Treville/Rochefort/Lord Winter) and the splendidly entertaining Elliot Liburd (Porthos/King of France).

Finally, special mention must go to Roger Bartlett, the production’s fight director. No evening spent in the company of the musketeers would be complete without some serious sword play, and Iris Theatre did not disappoint in this regard. There is something rather wonderful about hearing the church clock striking and seeing the garden’s white roses glowing in the dusk, whilst watching a mighty clash of swords, and knowing that 21st century London nightlife continues all around. A unique treat; there to be savoured.


Reviewed by Rebecca Crankshaw

Photography by Nick Rutter


The Three Musketeers

St Paul’s Church until 2nd September



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Final casting is revealed today for Iris Theatre’s 10th anniversary immersive production of Macbeth, joining the previously announced David Hywel Baynes, who has returned from the US to star as Macbeth following his Best Actor Offie Award-nominated tour-de-force as King Richard in Richard III, also for Iris Theatre.​

Macbeth by William Shakespeare, directed by Daniel Winder, will run Wednesday 21 June – Saturday 29 July.


Macbeth cast

David Hywel Baynes (Macbeth/Rebel Soldier). Previous theatre includes: Caliban in The Tempest (Ophelia Theatre Group); The Dauphin, Henry V (Globe); Bolt, Pericles (Savannah Music Festival); Richard, Richard III (Offie nomination for Best Actor), Queen of Hearts and March Hare, Alice in Wonderland, Brutus, Julius Caesar, Puck, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Chief Weasel, The Wind in the Willows (Iris Theatre at St Paul’s Church). David is also founder and artistic director for the recently formed New York Shakespeare Company.

Stephan Boyce (Duncan & Seyton/Porter & Padock & Apparitions). Theatre includes: Romeo & Juliet (Reading Between The Lines Theatre Company, Salisbury Playhouse); Titus Andronicus (The Malachite Theatre Company); Thirst (Brightlights
Production Company).

Jenny Horsthuis (Malcolm & Lady Macduff & Second Witch) Theatre includes: Mr Kolpert, Olga, Othello, The Cherry Orchard, The Taming of The Shrew, Pressure Drop, Summer Brave,The Baden-Baden Lesson on Consent, The Permanent Way (East 15).

Nick Howard-Brown (Banquo & Captain & Apparitions). Theatre includes: Much Ado About Nothing, Treasure Island, Twelfth Night, Pinocchio, Julius Caesar, Richard III, Alice in Wonderland, Alice Through the Looking Glass (Iris); The Merchant of Venice (The Globe); Hamlet (Tivoli Theatre).

Linford Johnson (Ross/1st Witch). Theatre includes: Show Boat (New London); War Horse (UK, Ireland, South Africa tour); Hair (Hope Mill Theatre); Alice’s Adventures Underground (Waterloo Vaults).

Mogali Masuku (Lady Macbeth & Macduff’s Son & Captain’s Son & Fleance & Third Witch). This is Mogali’s professional debut.

Matt Stubbs (Macduff & Murderer & Harpier & Apparitions). Theatre includes: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Stafford Castle); Much Ado About Nothing, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth (Page2Stage Productions); Love In The Wood (Theatre Royal Haymarket).

Macbeth Creative Team: Director Daniel Winder. Set Designer Alice Channon. Costume Designer Anna Sances. Fight Director Roger Bartlett. Lighting Designer Benjamin Polya. Sound Designer and Composer Filipe Gomes. Movement Elissa Aravidou. Witches Choreographer Lina Johansson.

Artistic director Daniel Winder opens the 2017 season by directing Shakespeare’s Macbeth, a terrifying journey into the mind of a murderer. This production will weave its way around the grounds of St Paul’s Church; reflecting the play’s journey into the twisted mental landscape of Macbeth as he rises to be king.

Returning to Iris Theatre after three years, David Hywel Baynes takes on the title role, following his critically-acclaimed and Offie-nominated performance in the Iris production of Richard III. David said:

“Getting the chance to come back and work on my favourite play with the Iris family was a no-brainer. The environment surrounding Iris during the summer season is like no other. And it’s truly an honour to be back in London with them as they celebrate their 10th anniversary. May there be many more to come!”

Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, Iris is a dynamic theatre company based at the world-famous St. Paul’s Church in Covent Garden. The company, established in 2007 by Artistic Director Daniel Winder, has a reputation for producing vibrant and accessible site-specic and outdoor theatre, alongside a growing new musical theatre strand. Iris gained full charity status in 2009 with a mission to support the development of the next generation of professional theatre practitioners. This year Iris will also produce The Odyssey, directed by Phil Wilmott, for Gods and Monsters Theatre at The Scoop on the South Bank.


by William Shakespeare

21 June – 29 July

St Paul’s Church
Bedford St,
Covent Garden
London WC2E 9ED

7:30pm | matinees 2:30pm
Previews: 21– 27 June

£18 Full Price | £14 Concessions

2 hours + interval