Innovative theatre companies are bringing Shakespeare into the 21st century and making Britain’s best-loved playwright ever more accessible with brand new ways of staging his plays. These five come highly recommended…

King Lear at the National Theatre – London

Directed by Sam Mendes, Soviet-style designs and the play’s menacing swarm of soldiers add a twist to one of the most eagerly anticipated Shakespeare stagings of the year, with Simon Russell Beale as Lear. See the National’s website for more information. Tickets are currently on sale for dates up to the 28th May. Tickets for later dates will be released in the spring. 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Globe – London

Another Shakespeare performance with a difference at The Globe, as deaf-led theatre company Deafinitely Theatre stage a British sign language performance of one of the bard’s best-loved comedies.  See The Globe’s website for more information. On stage 2nd – 7th June.

Love’s Labour’s Lost and Love’s Labour’s Won at the RSC – Stratford

The RSC marks the centenary of the First World War with this pair of plays. The first is set in 1914, with the threat of war looming as the play ends. In the second, we find ourselves in 1918, with Benedick and Claudio returning from the trenches. See the RSC’s website for more information. On stage September 2014 – March 2015.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Comedy of Errors – venues around the UK

Acclaimed all-male theatre company Propeller are touring their lively productions of two of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies. See Propeller’s website for more information. On tour until June 2014. 

All’s Well that Ends Well at The Globe – London

20th century India is the dazzling backdrop for The Globe’s foreign language production of All’s Well That Ends Well, with visual jokes and sung soliloquies helping non-Gujarati speakers to keep up with the action. See The Globe’s website for more information. On stage 5th – 10th May.