Opened 18 September 2012, Closed 6 October 2012 at the Apollo Theatre in London
The Tony and Olivier Award winning stage, screen and television actor Roger Rees with his one man show based around William Shakespeare - What You Will in London's West End
What You Will is the one-man everything there is 'to be or not to be' about William Shakespeare: the greatest soliloquies ever written next to side-splitting accounts of the funniest disasters ever perpetrated on the stage.
"Roger Rees tells us that he's searching for Shakespeare, and he's consulted the texts, his own experiences, the great writers and stray opinions on the internet in order to find him. And if what follows is a bunch of neat moments rather than something entirely coherent, it's rarely dull. Rees keeps things going at a clip, whether performing funny poems, Dickens extracts, telling stories of actors' mishaps, quoting dissenters, including great writers and unimpressed schoolchildren. He keeps it zippy even when performing soliloquys from Henry V, Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet. He has that great knack of selling the verse yet remaining conversational, of bringing clarity to lines that can sometimes pass you by in a fuzz of fine poetry... Rees gets through a lot in 90 minutes. What You Will is too scattershot to be a truly great evening, but it's certainly an entertaining one." The Times
"The best moment in playing Juliet is 'the nanosecond when they offer you the part.' One of the hardest lines to deliver in Macbeth is Malcolm's reaction when told his father has been brutally murdered: 'Oh. By whom?' The worst thing about the 'To be or not to be' soliloquy is delivering it immediately after making an entrance, with the whole audience knowing what you're about to say. It isn't just the offbeat insights into performing Shakespeare that make Roger Rees' What You Will an absolute delight. The anecdotes, drawn from 22 years with the Royal Shakespeare Company (the Juliet observation comes from former colleague Judi Dench), are terrific. The criticisms - from the laments of young students to the venom of D.H. Lawrence and Voltaire - range from amusing to hilarious. The Shakespeare speeches (and one sonnet) are delivered with mastery." San Francisco Chronicle
Roger Rees is probably best known for playing the television roles of 'Robin Colcord' in the TV sitcom Cheers and 'Lord John Marbury' in the TV drama The West Wing. Rees joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1996 where he played numerous roles in his 22 years with the company, most famously the title role in the 1980 landmark production of The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby for which he won both the Olivier and Tony Awards for 'Best Actor in a Play'. More recently he played the role of 'Vladimir', opposite Ian McKellen, in Sean Mathias' production of Samuel Beckett's play Waiting For Godot at London's Haymarket Theatre in 2010 while on Broadway during 2011 he took over the role of 'Gomez' from Nathan Lane in the musical The Addams Family at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. Rees co-directs the current Broadway show Peter and the Starcatcher also at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. Roger Rees created his one man show What You Will for the Folger Theatre in Washington, D.C in 2007.
What You Will - Roger Rees in London at the Apollo Theatre opened 18 September 2012 and closed on 6 October 2012.