Love and Information in the format of a sketch show. Her latest premiere at the Royal Court is a more loosely connected quadruple bill of plays: Glass. Kill. Bluebeard. Imp.’s stories are self-contained and varied in style, but all share a theme of deconstructing legends and fairytales, bringing the fantastical into an often comically banal light and finding the dark truth behind the magical fiction. Each play is slightly longer than the one before, so the first act consists of the first three stories, opening with Glass in which Kwabena Ansah, Louisa Harland, Patrick McNamee and Rebekah Murrell tell the story of a girl made of glass (Murrell,) trying to navigate her teenage years and a romance with a boy (McNamee) who may be as fragile as she is in his own way.
Monday, 30 September 2019
Saturday, 28 September 2019
Cymbeline, and now the unloved - both in-universe and within the canon - King John, as Rosie Sheehy takes the nominal lead in Eleanor Rhode's production. John - the gender-flipped characters are largely given dresses in Max Johns' design but the pronouns stick to what Shakespeare wrote - has inherited the throne from his much more popular brother Richard the Lionheart, along with the usual convoluted politics with England and France fighting over claims to each other's kingdom.
Thursday, 26 September 2019
Carrie and Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark. So it's not much of a shock if it's taken this long to make it to London; more of one, though, that nobody seems to have learnt their lesson, and instead of a quiet, soon-forgotten run on the fringe we get Morgan Young's flashy production in the absolute barn that is the Dominion.
Wednesday, 25 September 2019
Do the box office at Hampstead Theatre keep a nightly record of how people pronounce Either when collecting their tickets, and take bets on which pronunciation will win every night? And if not, WHAT EVEN IS THE POINT OF ANYTHING?
Monday, 23 September 2019
Snow In Midsummer, which I was completely smitten with a few years ago. This time around there's a more brutally down-to-earth subject matter, although death remains a common denominator as the early days of China taking on the West at its own capitalist game in the 1990s see a medical scandal and huge cover-up rock the impoverished countryside.
Saturday, 21 September 2019
Tuesday, 17 September 2019
Sunday, 15 September 2019
Torch Song Trilogy. It turns out that no I'm not going mad, yes that is the title of the 1970s play cycle, and yes there is a distinction: This is in fact the 2017 version of the script that Fierstein made significant cuts to, the slight title change differentiating between the two texts. Not that Drew McOnie's production departs from the original structure, even announcing the original plays' titles in neon signs over Ryan Dawson Laight's set. It's a story whose cast grows as it goes on, so opening act "International Stud" lights up just on drag queen Arnold (Matthew Needham) as he gets changed after a show, confessing to the audience how much he longs for a man he truly belongs with in the hedonistic underworld of gay '70s Manhattan.
Friday, 13 September 2019
Foxfinder. Well her opening production feels like it's done a good job of catching the Lyric's brand, taking as it does a well-loved classic - Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House, a play that seems to be on a lot of people's radar at the moment - and giving it a fresh twist. It's also, despite the fact that the story's been kept in the year of the play's premiere, 1879, a reinvention that ties in to a lot of current concerns, namely the way the rose-tinted view of Britain's colonial past has finally come back to cause destruction in Britain itself, and that past is ripe for reevaluation.
Thursday, 12 September 2019
Wednesday, 11 September 2019
Jesus Christ Superstar, and getting Lloyd for it is something of a minor coup for the venue. Evita is ALW and Tim Rice's take on the controversial figure Eva Perón (Samantha Pauly,) First Lady of Argentina during the 1940s and seen as the power behind the throne for her populist husband Juan Perón (Ektor Rivera.)
Tuesday, 10 September 2019
Monday, 9 September 2019
Sunday, 8 September 2019
Macmillan, and when she died, she left him instructions making it clear she expected him to stick to the plan (she also left him the tutu she expects him to wear.) Will's training coincides with his first year at university, in which he struggles to fit in, and provides a welcome nightly escape.
Friday, 6 September 2019
got adapted for radio - she was so happy with The Effect that she genuinely didn't believe she'd ever match it. Well, she's finally braved the weight of her own high expectations to debut A Very Expensive Poison at the Old Vic, and instead of taking similar ground to her last play it instead goes back to ripping its story from the headlines like her earlier hit ENRON. It also uses something like that play's genre-hopping, metatheatrical style, although director John Crowley can't quite bring the flair of a Rupert Goold to it. Based on Luke Harding's book of the same name, A Very Expensive Poison follows the murder of Russian whistle-blower Alexander Litvinenko with Polonium 210, a radioactive substance so rare it could be traced back to the precise nuclear plant where it was produced; and despite this the trouble Litvinenko's widow Marina had getting anyone in power to point the finger at the most obvious suspect.
Thursday, 5 September 2019
Sunday, 1 September 2019
Beautiful Thing. Actor James Corley’s playwriting debut lacks the relatable characters to have anything like the same impact on audiences, but it does have its moments. In late 1998, Viv (Patricia Potter) returns to London after two failed marriages and many years of constant moving around; she rents the tiny flat next to Ylli (Nikolaos Brahimllari,) an Albanian widower and once-aspiring artist who now takes odd jobs in security. Both have 19-year-old sons, Viv’s new one-bedroom flat meaning Ben (Tom Milligan) has to sleep in the living room, where he locks himself away most of the time playing on his new Playstation. Besnick (Mirlind Bega) is more socially confident, and while perhaps not technically out to his disapproving father seems unfazed by Ylli’s occasional digs at his effeminacy.