2014 Company Profiles
Actor & Workshop Director
Involved as an actor since the first season in 2000; he augmented the company's outreach work developing a thriving youth programme. “Chris Donnelly's Iago is the most restrained and unshowy I've encountered, and this makes the seeping of his poison into Othello's mind all the more compelling and credible.” The Guardian ****
Reviews of Richard II
See the reviews below for the company's first History play, Richard II:
Richard II "is lucid and gripping, and the company acting could show a thing or two to some of our distinguished directors."
"This engaging retelling makes Shakespeare look so easy to stage, and so applicable to our times."
"Andrew Hilton's finely tuned production of Richard II goes to the heart of Shakespeare's play, and proves yet again how hard it is to have a bad time at the Tobacco Factory, where a small space becomes the arena for an epic, and the only concept is the uncovering of the dramatist's words."
"No gimmicks, just the Bard at his best."
"[Andrew Hilton] has made a wise choice...in Shakespeare’s vivid and violent tragedy, moulding the verse seamlessly into the dramatic action in his company’s signature style of forceful yet intimate playing."
"But Hilton’s ensemble style is his trademark, with his clever choreography of the action, and the way those who are not speaking stand in perfect repose, so the focus is always on the speaker."
"Benjamin Whitrow and Roland Oliver impress as the dynasty heads, John of Gaunt and York, respectively, while...Julia Hills impresses as a chiding Duchess of York."
"The pace never flags: scenes start and finish with admirable urgency...rarely can this sad story have been told so well."
"Engaging and involving, with Shakespeare’s language weaving its own spell, this is another deserved feather in this fantastic company’s cap."
"This production, from Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory, is simply mesmeric...a potent combination of royal vacillations and double-crossing at every turn creates an astonishingly gripping psychological thriller."
"The stripped-back set is the perfect backdrop to this brilliant production at the Tobacco Factory Theatre and superb performances by the entire cast propel the play to its tragic conclusion."
"Hilton's direction gives a strong cast an easy naturalism, without ever compromising the clarity of delivery or the fluid rhythms of the verse. The effect is a thoroughly commanding production."
"Scenes flow at a tender pace or race past with a welcome urgency...a fantastic production."
"Please don't miss the chance to see this remarkable production."
"...the closeness to the acting area just makes the play more exciting."
"Andrew Hilton’s simply staged production at The Tobacco Factory, Bristol, puts an energetic lyricism back into the heart of Richard II, recapturing and presenting afresh its poetry for the twenty-first century."