The main show took us to Australia for ANZAC Day, and the Sunday-Tuesday rep show brings us closer to home for John Burrows' Stony Broke in No Man's Land. David Brett and Gareth Williams play two old buskers who, some years after returning from the front, look back at the promises that the survivors' old jobs would be waiting for them, and the reality that saw them feel their sacrifice had been swiftly forgotten.
Writing down what I think about theatre I've seen in That London, whether I've been asked to or not.
Sunday, 31 May 2015
Theatre review: Shock Treatment
Friday, 29 May 2015
Theatre review: Sunspots
Thursday, 28 May 2015
Theatre review: Temple
Lear last year Simon Russell Beale has said he's not quite ready to find a way of topping that challenge in the classics, so this year he's appearing in two new plays instead. First up is Temple, Steve Waters' fictionalised version of the Occupy London movement in 2011, which ended up camped outside St Paul's Cathedral. Among safety fears, the Cathedral was closed - an unprecedented event in a church that stayed open throughout the Blitz, and a place of worship that predates the City of London itself. SRB plays an unnamed, fictional version of the Dean of St Paul's, on whom responsibility for every decision taken eventually falls. It's St Jude's Day - patron saint of lost causes - and after a fortnight closed to the public, the Cathedral will be reopening its doors, with the Dean himself leading the morning Eucharist.
Wednesday, 27 May 2015
Theatre review: Crouch, Touch, Pause, Engage
for an article about how, despite great reviews, his latest touring show has played to dwindling audiences, blaming arts funding cuts for the regions losing their taste for new theatre. Of course, last year's offerings from Out of Joint were This May Hurt A Bit and Pitcairn, so people may just have been wary of getting burned a third time. Robin Soans' verbatim play (with a few reconstructed scenes) about openly gay rugby player Gareth Thomas is, though, a much better proposition; and if tonight's audience at the Arcola is anything to go by, it's coming a lot closer to filling the house on this final London leg of its tour. Gay audiences will surely find a lot of interest in the story of the first major international sportsman to come out, but Thomas isn't the sole focus of Soans' play.
Monday, 25 May 2015
Theatre review: As You Like It (Shakespeare's Globe)
2009 production, two helpings of the touring version and most recently a charming visit from Georgia, As You Like It must be the play I've seen the most times at Shakespeare's Globe. All those past productions have established their own identity in my memory despite being in the same setting, but I'm skeptical that Blanche McIntyre's new production will prove quite as memorable. The big deal this time around is the casting of Shakespearean star and Globe regular, Michelle Terry in Shakespeare's biggest female role, Rosalind, daughter of a banished Duke, and herself banished when her usurping uncle takes against her on a whim. She flees to the Forest of Arden disguised as a boy, accompanied by her cousin Celia (Ellie Piercy.) There they encounter Rosalind's father (David Beames) and the exiled court who've made themselves at home there.
Posted by nick730 at 23:37 No comments:
Labels: As You Like It, Blanche McIntyre, Daniel Crossley, Ellie Piercy, Gary Shelford, Jack Monaghan, James Garnon, Michelle Terry, Phil Whitchurch, Simon Harrison, Sophia Nomvete, William Shakespeare
Sunday, 24 May 2015
Theatre review: The One Day of the Year
Saturday, 23 May 2015
Theatre review: McQueen
Friday, 22 May 2015
Theatre review: Hamlet (Ninagawa Company)
Thursday, 21 May 2015
Theatre review: Klippies
Wednesday, 20 May 2015
Theatre review: Communicating Doors
Tuesday, 19 May 2015
Theatre review: Skin in Flames
Chimerica and The Witness were built around the idea of the relationship between the subject and the person behind the camera, and so is Spanish writer Guillem Clua's Skin in Flames. The UK premiere at the Park is in an English translation by D J Sanders, but the cast of Sîlvia Ayguadé & Franko Figueiredo's production remains mostly Spanish. Two parallel storylines play out at the same time in identical rooms of a "luxury" hotel in an unnamed Third World country. Twenty years ago the country was war-torn, when war photographer Salomon (Almiro Andrade) took a picture of a seven-year-old girl being blown through the air by a bomb blast. It got the credit for drawing the world's attention to the conflict, and a fragile peace was reached. A rather dubious brand of democracy is now in place.
Monday, 18 May 2015
Theatre review: The Father (Tricycle Theatre)
Saturday, 16 May 2015
Theatre review: The Verb, 'To Love'
Friday, 15 May 2015
Theatre review: High Society
London Road, leading the cast of High Society as Tracy Lord. The wealthy heiress and socialite is preparing for the latest in a long line of weddings, to the humourless George (Richard Grieve.) Her resolve to settle for a safe-but-dull marriage is tested by the arrival of one of her ex-husbands: She and Dexter (Rupert Young) had a tempestuous relationship that was ended by his alcoholism. But he's on the wagon now, and the two clearly still have feelings for each other.
Posted by nick730 at 23:14 No comments:
Labels: Annabel Scholey, Arthur Kopit, Barbara Flynn, Christopher Ravenscroft, Cole Porter, Ellie Bamber, Jamie Parker, Jeff Rawle, Kate Fleetwood, Maria Friedman, Rupert Young, Susan Birkenhead, Tom Pye
Thursday, 14 May 2015
Theatre review: Carrie
In The Heights came from New York with Tonys attached, this year's offering has, to say the least, more of a checkered past: Michael Gore, Dean Pitchford and Lawrence D. Cohen's Carrie has gone down in history as one of the biggest-ever musical flops. Despite a Stratford-upon-Avon run plagued by cast accidents (the blood short-circuited the radio mics, electrocuting them) it went straight to Broadway. The humiliation suffered there meant the performance rights were withdrawn for decades. So this heavily rewritten version, seen off-Broadway in 2012, is the first time it's ever been seen in London.
Posted by nick730 at 22:48 No comments:
Labels: Dean Pitchford, Evelyn Hoskins, Gabriella Williams, Gary Lloyd, Greg Miller-Burns, Jodie Jacobs, Kim Criswell, Lawrence D Cohen, Michael Gore, Sarah McNicholas, Stephen King, Tim McQuillen-Wright
Wednesday, 13 May 2015
Theatre review: In the Dead of Night
Tuesday, 12 May 2015
Theatre review: Everyman
the first show programmed by the new Artistic Director was anything to go by, we would have been in for a dull time at the National Theatre over the next few years, but we've got something more interesting - if eccentrically so - in the first play Rufus Norris has taken on to direct himself. It may be a new era but Norris goes right back to the beginning of extant English theatre with the mediaeval morality play Everyman, "Ev" to his friends in this new version by Carol Ann Duffy. Chiwetel Ejiofor plays Ev, whom we first meet tumbling through the air to the stage in slow motion, in what could be a symbolic Fall of Man but turns out to be somewhat more prosaic: An accident after a coke-fuelled 40th birthday party. Death (Dermot Crowley) arrives to tell him his time is up, and soon Ev will need to make a reckoning with God (Kate Duchêne,) and justify the way he's lived his life.
Posted by nick730 at 22:17 No comments:
Labels: Carol Ann Duffy, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Clemmie Sveaas, Dermot Crowley, Javier de Frutos, Joshua Lacey, Kate Duchêne, Nicholas Karimi, Nick Holder, Penny Layden, Rufus Norris, Sharon D Clarke
Sunday, 10 May 2015
Theatre review: Closer to Heaven
Romeo & Juliet's crown as the most nipple-thrusting show in Southwark, Closer to Heaven is the latest in the Union's attempts to turn West End flops into fringe hits. This one certainly seems to have done the trick, the Jonathan Harvey / Pet Shop Boys musical sold out long before it had even opened. Recent "Irish" arrival Straight Dave (Jared Thompson) is so called because he really is straight, but he does seem a bit insecure in his sexuality, possibly because of all those men he turns out to have slept with. He tries to suppress this side of himself in the most masculine job he can think of, as a go-go dancer in a gay club, while dating Shell (Amy Matthews) daughter of club owner Vic (Craig Berry.) Vic is variously a heavy drug user or violently opposed to them depending on the scene, which makes for a tricky relationship with resident rough trade and drug dealer Mile End Lee (Connor Brabyn - I see the project to clone Ryan Phillippe has been successful.) Straight Dave visibly drools any time he sees Lee, then is confused when people ask him if he's gay.
Saturday, 9 May 2015
Theatre review: Matchbox Theatre
Theatre review: Deluge
Friday, 8 May 2015
Theatre review: Hay Fever
Stage-to-screen review: The Vote
The Angry Brigade, tickets for The Vote at the Donmar Warehouse were allocated by ballot, so although I applied I wasn't able to see the show at the theatre. I guess that's democracy for you, Donmar members didn't get preferential treatment, and neither did critics - it's just a fortuitous coincidence that all the newspaper critics' applications successfully got them tickets for the same night. And just in time to give it a boost for its showing on More4 on election night! That was the alternative option for those of us who didn't get to see the starry cast in the flesh, a live broadcast at the exact time that the show is set: 8:30 to 10pm, the final 90 minutes of voting in a Lambeth polling station. It's a marginal seat and, with the election looking like a closer-run thing than it actually turned out to be, every vote could be crucial.
Posted by nick730 at 14:55 No comments:
Labels: Catherine Tate, Finty Williams, Hadley Fraser, James Graham, Josie Rourke, Jude Law, Judi Dench, Llewella Gideon, Mark Gatiss, Nicholas Burns, Nina Sosanya, Paul Chahidi, Rosalie Craig, Timothy West
Thursday, 7 May 2015
Theatre review: The Angry Brigade
Wednesday, 6 May 2015
Theatre review: Eclipsed
second show in London this year to deal with girl soldiers in Liberia's succession of civil wars, Danai Gurira's Eclipsed is the more powerful piece in the way it brings a brutal conflict to a domestic level. While horrors keeps going on outside daily, a fragile, compromised kind of domesticity exists in quarters of a rebel compound, where the warlord's wives live in a strict hierarchy based on the order in which they arrived. The Girl (Letitia Wright) has been hidden away by Helena, aka Wife #1 (Michelle Asante,) but she's soon discovered and enlisted as Wife #4, to be used for sex by the C.O. as he pleases - although at least that means she isn't readily available to the whole camp. While Wife #3, the pregnant Bessie (Joan Iyiola,) is worried that the C.O. no longer wants to have sex with her as often as he used to, however much she adapts to their domestic setup, the Girl can't get used to that.
Tuesday, 5 May 2015
Theatre review: Product
Monday, 4 May 2015
Theatre review: A New Play for the General Election
Sunday, 3 May 2015
Theatre review: The Merchant of Venice (Shakespeare's Globe)
Posted by nick730 at 16:42 No comments:
Labels: Ben Lamb, Christopher Logan, Daniel Lapaine, David Sturzaker, Dorothea Myer-Bennett, Jonathan Munby, Jonathan Pryce, Merchant of Venice, Phoebe Pryce, Rachel Pickup, Stefan Adegbola, William Shakespeare
Saturday, 2 May 2015
Theatre review: Love's Sacrifice
Posted by nick730 at 20:37 No comments:
Labels: Andy Apollo, Anna Fleischle, Beth Cordingly, Catrin Stewart, Colin Ryan, Jamie Thomas King, John Ford, Jonathan McGuinness, Marcus Griffiths, Matthew Dunster, Matthew Kelly, Matthew Needham, Stratford-upon-Avon
Friday, 1 May 2015
Theatre review: Romeo & Juliet (Shakespeare's Globe & tour)
Much Ado About Nothing is due back in a couple of months' time, but first the new production, and as comedy and tragedy alternate on these tours, it's the turn of Romeo & Juliet. Dromgoole and Tim Hoare direct a cast of eight actors plus two musician/stage hands, and the usual rustic look (designs by Andrew D Edwards) has a suitably Italian flavour in this story of fair Verona, where for generations the Montague and Capulet families have been at each other's throats, the original cause forgotten. A friar sees a way to end the feud - he succeeds, but not in the way he'd envisaged.
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