Blurred Lines, one scene made its point in the rather meta way of dramatising a post-show discussion with the creatives. In Bush Moukarzel's Lippy, this Q&A conceit becomes the framing device for a whole show about putting words into other people's mouths. It makes for a nicely disarming start to the evening, to have Moukarzel welcome the audience "back" and begin to talk about a show they haven't actually seen and doesn't really exist. With the help of a techie (Adam Welsh, also the composer and sound desginer) who doesn't always seem to be paying much attention, he interviews an actor who is also a Lip Reader (David Heap,) a talent around which the preceding show was built. It's an ability he's also sometimes been asked to use to help police inquiries, and one case particularly haunts him - of being asked to interpret the last known CCTV footage of some women who made a suicide pact.
Friday, 27 February 2015
Thursday, 26 February 2015
traditionally make for good theatre, so for Farinelli and the King, the first new play to be written for the Swanamaker, Claire van Kampen - better known as a composer - turns to 18th century Madrid and Philippe V, a grandson of Louis XVI of France installed, possibly to his own surprise, as King of Spain. He turns out to be a good monarch, but much of his business is war, which takes a mental toll on him. A bout of depression and paranoia sees him withdraw from human company and his duties, becoming obsessed with the passing of time. When we first meet Philippe (Mark Rylance) he's been awake all night fishing in a goldfish bowl, and berating the clocks for all showing slightly different times. For De la Cuadra (Edward Peel) this is an opportunity to have the king quietly shipped away and rule in his stead, but his doctor (Huss Garbiya) has one last ditch-plan.
Wednesday, 25 February 2015
Stink Foot flooded it with treacle, so it's understandable if it's due a thorough cleansing. A ritual Jewish cleansing, as it turns out in Josh Azouz's The Mikvah Project, for which designer Cécile Trémolières has put an actual, large heated pool on stage. The Mikvah, our narrators tell us, is a Friday night ritual usually associated with the most Orthodox Jews. 35-year-old Avi (Jonah Russell) has been married for seven years, happily so although his and his wife's inability to conceive is the main source of friction between them. He goes to the Mikvah to pray for a child, and while there strikes up a friendship with laddish 17-year-old choirboy Eitan (Oliver Coopersmith.) Unexpectedly, Eitan makes a pass at him, and even more unexpectedly Avi's protestations of not being interested don't ring that convincing, even to him.
Tuesday, 24 February 2015
Saturday, 21 February 2015
Drama school productions are officially classified as amateur dramatics, which I prefer not to review. But as everyone involved is either professional or hoping to be so very shortly, I try to review accordingly.
Tuesday, 17 February 2015
Monday, 16 February 2015
Sunday, 15 February 2015
Saturday, 14 February 2015
A View From The Bridge. The recent trend for stripped-back Williams that I've been enjoying continues here in Mayou Trikerioti's design of black, white and grey, the centrepiece of the traverse stage being a huge, shiny black frame that slides across the set to provide sometimes a window frame to look out onto unseen but crucial events; others a literal or metaphorical obstacle between the characters.
Friday, 13 February 2015
Thursday, 12 February 2015
a tried-and-tested Shakespeare though, this time it's for a class satire that's languished in obscurity for decades. It's no surprise on seeing it, though, that Lloyd managed to lure his leading man back, as Peter Barnes' The Ruling Class features the kind of role that most actors only dream of getting to play. When the 13th Earl of Gurney dies in an auto-erotic asphyxiation accident, his title, property and seat in the House of Lords pass to his only surviving son. But Jack (McAvoy) is a paranoid schizophrenic with a god complex, who's spent the last 7 years in a mental hospital. Now he has to be seen in public again, and those fighting for control of his estate have to wonder if his behaviour can be passed off as mere aristocratic eccentricity.