Thursday, 2 April 2020
Saturday, 28 March 2020
Saturday, 21 March 2020
Marquee TV is one I only heard of recently, and which seems to lean heavily on the side of opera and dance, so its theatre offerings consist almost entirely of shows I've already seen. Their library does include almost all of Classic Spring's Oscar Wilde season from 2017-18 at the Vaudeville, including one installment I skipped at the time, An Ideal Husband. Jonathan Church directs a Wilde play with a more overtly political slant than most.
Saturday, 14 March 2020
its premiere, when I was interested but not entirely convinced by it. But I've got a certain reputation to live down to as far as plays with extensive male nudity go and besides, I wanted to know if a different perspective would make it feel a bit more focused than it seemed last time. And Georgia Green's production - her professional debut, following its appearance last year as part of an Orange Tree new directors' showcase - does go some way towards filling in some gaps. The Mikvah is a Jewish ritual bath, more commonly used by women, but there are ones available for men as well, like the pair in Josh Azouz' play who meet there every Friday for particular reasons of their own. 35-year-old Avi (Alex Waldmann) goes to pray for the child he and his wife are trying to conceive (or as he puts it, he's praying to his balls.)
Friday, 13 March 2020
Tuesday, 10 March 2020
Saturday, 7 March 2020
The Duchess of Malfi was, I couldn't help but be sorry that it did away with my second favourite ridiculous Jacobean revenge tragedy murder (death by poisoned Bible.) My actual favourite ridiculous Jacobean revenge tragedy murder (death by poisoned skull) appears in Thomas Middleton's The Revenger's Tragedy; would I be similarly disappointed? No of course not, because this is Cheek by Jowl's annual visit and Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod are more likely to add their own insane fuckery to a play than get rid of what's already there. Not content with having English, French and Russian companies on the go, they've teamed up with Piccolo Teatro di Milan to create their first Italian-language show. And aptly enough Italy is the setting for a play that goes out of its way to live up to its no-nonsense title's promise of revenge, and lots of it.
Friday, 6 March 2020
the obvious suspect - announcements in the last couple of weeks have suggested that Joe diPietro alone is going to be flinging a hell of a lot of insanity at stages both sides of the Atlantic over the next few months. But then there's the other extreme, where a musical adaptation has worked so well it's overshadowed the original: The Jerry Herman / Harvey Fierstein musical is what comes to mind when you hear La Cage aux Folles, to the extent that Park Theatre have felt it best to append [The Play] to the title, to clarify that Simon Callow's new version is based on Jean Poiret's original French farce. Any songs that show up are going to be lip-synced because the title refers to a drag club run by Georges (Michael Matus) in early 1970s St Tropez.
Wednesday, 4 March 2020
Theatre review: Trainers, Or The Brutal Unpleasant Atmosphere Of This Most Disagreeable Season
(A Theatrical Essay)
Monday, 2 March 2020
Roger Allam and Colin Morgan have worked together in ersatz father/son roles before. And despite the genetic material there’s something ersatz about the father/son relationships they play out in A Number as well – I told the people I went to the show with to go in knowing as little about it as possible, and would recommend that to anyone planning on seeing it; in which case save this review until after you’ve been as well, as it’s a hard play to write about without major spoilers.
Saturday, 29 February 2020
Thursday, 27 February 2020
Loserville and Little Shop of Horrors. Alarmingly skinny video game geek Jeremy (Scott Folan) seems happy enough with his status as a loser who'll come into his own when he gets to college, but when the bullying gets too much for him and even Christine (Miracle Chance,) the oddball girl he likes, falls for a jock (Miles Paloma,) Jeremy becomes desperate enough to try anything to become more popular.
Wednesday, 26 February 2020
Tuesday, 25 February 2020
Monday, 24 February 2020
some actual Beckett again. Antoinette Nwandu's play about the ongoing epidemic of black Americans being shot by police turns the pair of tramps into homeless African-Americans living under a railway bridge, their inability to move from the spot not down to abstract existential dread but the very specific knowledge that anyone who tries to get away gets gunned down. Paapa Essiedu plays Moses, whose name, like the play's title Pass Over, references the other overt influence on Nwandu's play, the biblical book of Exodus, and while Moses himself often despairs, his friend Kitch (Gershwyn Eustache Jnr) has faith that he can lead his people to a Promised Land.
Sunday, 23 February 2020
Saturday, 22 February 2020
Thursday, 20 February 2020
whose last production of it feels comparatively recent in the scheme of things, is back at it with a production first seen in Glasgow last year. Ibsen's play is a proto-feminist story whose heroine finding her strength and identity caused a scandal in its day, and rather than present it as written or relocate it to a single new setting Stef Smith's version attempts to see just how much Nora's story would change over the course of a century. The retitled Nora: A Doll's House casts three versions of its leading lady: Amaka Okafor is 1918 Nora, a dutiful housewife still feeling some of the thrill of being allowed to vote for the first time. Natalie Klamar is 1968 Nora, a pill-popping mother of three idly, or not so idly wondering how her life might be different if the Pill and legal abortions had come along just a little bit sooner. And Anna Russell-Martin is Nora in 2018, propping up a family who've been living on credit.
Tuesday, 18 February 2020
opened with a commitment to telling the stories of queer women of colour, a theme that's revisited in the latest main-house show as actor Temi Wilkey's playwrighting debut The High Table follows the preparations for a British-Nigerian lesbian wedding. It's an event the family are going to have a lot to say about - and not just the living family. Tara (Cherelle Skeete) introduces her parents Segun (David Webber) and Mosun (Jumoké Fashola) to her fiancée Leah (Ibinabo Jack) for the first time three months before the wedding. They've been together for some time and engaged for nine months at this point, so the fact that Tara has put it off for so long suggests she's worried about their reaction. And while they, in theory, accepted her coming out as bisexual a few years earlier, this confirmation that their daughter won't settle down with a man after all makes them show their true colours, and they refuse to attend the wedding.