cheek by jowl



  • (written as Cheek By Jowl)
    British touring company established in 1981 by two Cambridge law graduates, director Declan Donnellan (1953 - ) and designer Nick Ormerod (1951 - ). Their declared aim was to present Shakespeare and other, less familiar, classics in sparse, stripped down productions that avoided both stale conventions on the one hand and conceptual gimmickry on the other. This aim was realized triumphantly in a series of plays that included the British premieres of Racines's Andromache (1985), Corneille's Le Cid(1986), and Ostrovsky's A Family Affair (1988), as well as fresh interpretations of Shakespeare, including an all-male As You Like It(1991). In the late 1980s Cheek By Jowl began a long association with Lev Dodin's Maly Theatre of St Petersburg; this Russian connection culminated in 2000, when Donnellan and Ormerod formed a sister company of Russian actors in Moscow (known informally as 'Cheek By Jowlski'). Donnellan and Ormerod - who are domestic as well as artistic partners - have taken other opportunities to work together outside the context of Cheek By Jowl, notably on the West End musical Martin Guerre (1996). More recent work by the company has included Tony Kushner's Homebody/Kabul (2002), a production of Othello (2004) that toured 14 countries on five continents, and a stark Macbeth (2010), presented as part of a three-year residency at London's Barbican Centre.

    The company takes its name from a line in A Midsummer Night's Dream,where the furious Lysander tells his rival Demetrius "Nay, I'll go with thee, cheek by jowl!"

Idiom of “cheek by jowl”

inconveniently close together