Writing down what I think about theatre I've seen in That London, whether I've been asked to or not.
Friday, 26 February 2016
Thursday, 25 February 2016
Theatre review: Hand to God
Wednesday, 24 February 2016
Theatre review: Cleansed
Monday, 22 February 2016
Re-review: Nell Gwynn
you can read myoriginal review of Christopher Luscombe's production here, from its run at Shakespeare's Globe. With Hugh Durrant's design recreating a slightly smaller version of the Globe's stage for the Apollo, much of my original review stands (except for Sarah Woodward nicking someone in the audience's drink; harder to do on a pros arch.) Of course, one major change is in the lead, Gugu Mbatha-Raw having had filming commitments. But you couldn't have asked for a better replacement than Gemma Arterton, who has just the right kind of charisma - much of it consisting of a wicked sense of fun - to bring both the steely determination of the first-ever female star actor, and her warmth to life. (And we already knew from her turn in Made in Dagenham that Arterton could handle Nell's bawdy songs.)
Sunday, 21 February 2016
Theatre review: Four Play
Saturday, 20 February 2016
Theatre review: Doctor Faustus (RSC / Swan)
Friday, 19 February 2016
Theatre review: The Encounter
Thursday, 18 February 2016
Theatre review: Mrs Henderson Presents
Posted by nick730 at 23:21 No comments:
Labels: Don Black, Emma Williams, George Fenton, Ian Bartholomew, Jamie Foreman, Martin Sherman, Matthew Malthouse, Robert Hands, Samuel Holmes, Simon Chamberlain, Terry Johnson, Tracie Bennett
Wednesday, 17 February 2016
Theatre review: The End of Longing
Tuesday, 16 February 2016
Theatre review: Uncle Vanya
Oresteia to Chekhov, and his rural tragedy* Uncle Vanya. When his late sister married a noted academic and was given a farm as a dowry, John (Paul Rhys) dedicated his life to managing it, sending the money to his brother-in-law to fund his writing. When his first wife died, Alexander (Hilton McRae) got remarried, to the much younger Elena (Vanessa Kirby.) Now retired, Alexander has brought Elena to live on the farm with him, and actually spending time with the man he idolised for years has made John realise a harsh truth: Alexander is in fact a very minor, derivative scholar, and John's worked 25 years to fund an academic legacy that will actually be instantly forgotten.
Monday, 15 February 2016
Theatre review: Rabbit Hole
Good People, Hampstead Theatre becomes the natural home for his family drama of grief. We open with a domestic scene as Becca (Claire Skinner) washes and folds a child's clothes as her sister Izzy (Georgina Rich) catches her up with her latest personal dramas. This surface of normality is hard-bought though, as it turns out Becca is getting the clothes ready to take to charity, her 4-year-old son having run out into traffic and died eight months earlier. She and her husband Howie (Tom Goodman-Hill) are both trying to deal with the loss in their own ways, but their different coping strategies are putting a strain on their relationship.
Sunday, 14 February 2016
Theatre review: Andy Capp The Musical
Saturday, 13 February 2016
Theatre review: The Spanish Tragedy
previous form with Jacobethan revenge tragedies. Thomas Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy gets seriously pared down both in text and style in director Dan Hutton's production. A brief war between Spain and Portugal gets resolved with a treaty in which Spain has both the upper hand, and a Portuguese prince: Technically a hostage, Balthazar (Jamie Satterthwaite) is more like a guest at court, who's made great friends with one of the royal princesses, Lorenzo (Janet Etuk,) and has set his sights on marrying the other, Bel-Imperia (India Semper-Hughes.) She's not so keen because Balthazar killed her fiancé in the battle and besides, she's now moved on to his friend Horatio (Lee Drage.) So Balthazar and Lorenzo kill Horatio as well, convincing the King (Leo Wan) a royal marriage would be a good idea.
Friday, 12 February 2016
Theatre review: Road Show
the rise of the Nazis in the first part of his two-show season at the Union, director Phil Willmott goes for something a bit lighter but not necessarily easier: Road Show is the fourth title, and who knows how many dozen rewrites and reinventions, for Sondheim and Weidman's attempt to tell the story of Addison Meisner, the turn-of-the-20th century architect whose style defined much of how Florida looks to this day. After their father dies, leaving them poorer than they expected, Addy (Howard Jenkins) and his brother Willie (Andre Rafig) seek their fortune in the Alaskan gold rush. Addy's hard work and determination sees their plot of land yield results, only for his brother to lose it in a card game. It sets a pattern: The drunk coke-head Willie is a schemer whose plans always seem to leave him penniless and take any number of other victims with him.
Thursday, 11 February 2016
Theatre review: The Winter's Tale (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse)
Wednesday, 10 February 2016
Theatre review: In the Night Time (Before the Sun Rises)
Tuesday, 9 February 2016
Theatre review: Battlefield
Monday, 8 February 2016
Theatre review: Escaped Alone
Sunday, 7 February 2016
Theatre review: Weald
Saturday, 6 February 2016
Theatre review: Stay Awake, Jake
Bend It Like Beckham's final few months, but for a week he's swapped a particularly colourful West End show for a moody hour under Waterloo Station as part of the annual(ish) Vault Festival. Tim Gilvin's chamber musical monologue Stay Awake, Jake sees Muscato play the titular Jake, who's set off at one in the morning to drive from London to Carlisle. He's had a phone call from his estranged girlfriend Sophia that's shaken him up, and an all-night drive to where she's staying at her parents' house is his desperate attempt to reconcile. Jake is an aspiring comics writer with writer's block; as he tries to think about how to resolve the problems in his superhero duo's relationship, he goes back over the history of his own, which is how we get to hear what went right and wrong for them as he goes up the motorway.
Friday, 5 February 2016
Theatre review: The Meeting
Thursday, 4 February 2016
Theatre review: The Master Builder
Wednesday, 3 February 2016
Theatre review: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
real-life blues singer Ma Rainey (Sharon D Clarke) isn't going to let that stop her doing exactly what she wants: As the highest-earning artist on Sturdyvant's (Stuart McQuarrie) record label, she can get away with diva behaviour like flaunting her young girlfriend Dussie Mae (Tamara Lawrance,) refusing to sing until she's had her three bottles of Coke brought to her, and demanding the spoken-word intro to the titular song be performed by her nephew Sylvester (Tunji Lucas) - despite his stutter.
Tuesday, 2 February 2016
Theatre review: Iphigenia in Splott
Monday, 1 February 2016
Theatre review: The Mother
The Father a critical hit last year (including with me - I put it in my 2015 Top Ten,) it was also a surprising commercial success: One West End transfer would have been impressive for a hallucinatory show about mental illness, but it's getting a second one and a tour. So it's not surprising to see Florian Zeller's companion piece The Mother (again translated by Christopher Hampton) follow it quickly to London, with Laurence Boswell's production setting up shop at the Tricycle. Where The Father's deliberately confusing scenes took us into the head of a man with a form of dementia, The Mother has a much younger character at its heart and a less obvious diagnosis, initially at least, as Anne (Gina McKee) seems to have reacted in an extreme way to empty nest syndrome. An upper-middle class housewife in her late forties, she's dedicated her life to her children, especially her son Nicholas (William Postlethwaite, adding to an already-impressive list of dubious facial hair choices,) for whom she shows an uncomfortably Oedipal level of devotion.
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