Writing down what I think about theatre I've seen in That London, whether I've been asked to or not.
Saturday, 31 December 2022
2022: Nick's Theatre Review of the Year
2020 and half of 2021 live theatre wasn't really a thing. 2022 hasn't felt quite back to normal in that respect, and I continued to have a number of shows cancelled because of illness or injury, Covid-related or otherwise - the Donmar and Almeida seemed to have been particularly unlucky on that front. And that's before we get to the week or so of shows I had to reschedule or miss entirely because I had Covid. Where shows did go ahead, swings and understudies continued to be more important than ever, so seeing someone other than the star name step up to the plate, usually with impressive results, became another recurring theme of the year. But overall things were sufficiently back on track for me to present, once again: A confusing and bloated roundup of shows I saw, loved, hated or forgot instantly, followed by a bit of light perving over actors who were just trying to do their job, bless'em.
Tuesday, 27 December 2022
Theatre review: Mother Goose (Duke of York's & tour)
Thursday, 22 December 2022
Dolly Parton's Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol
a comedy version that largely ignored everything about the actual story; for my last show before Christmas itself, I would have thought the title Dolly Parton's Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol probably tells you all you need to know. Parton (music and lyrics) and David H. Bell's (book) musical version of the Charles Dickens story started life as a Dollywood attraction before being expanded into a full-length show, and Alison Pollard's production now gets its UK premiere at the South Bank Centre. They've moved the story from Victorian London to 1930s Tennessee and added Parton's distinctive country music sound, but it ends up a surprisingly faithful adaptation both in plot and intention.
Wednesday, 21 December 2022
Theatre review: A Streetcar Named Desire
Summer and Smoke, although the latter collaboration is a last-minute one: Future Dame Patsy Ferran plays Blanche Dubois only because original star Lydia Wilson got injured. The first week of previews was cancelled to give the new lead at least a little rehearsal time, but apart from a running time that'll likely tighten up by the delayed press night, there's little on stage to suggest the production has only been in front of audiences for a few nights, least of all from the extraordinary leading lady.
Monday, 19 December 2022
Theatre review: Sons of the Prophet
Stephen Karam's last play at Hampstead Theatre was That American Play Where An Extended Family Gets Together After A Long Time, Preferably At Thanksgiving But That’s Optional, but surely even the most determined American playwrights can't write that one too many times, and the premise and cast were appealing. And the play, which takes its title from the central family's distant and regularly overplayed relation to Kahlil Gibran, is certainly not clichéd in its premise: It centres on two gay brothers from a Lebanese-American Maronite Christian family, from a part of Pennsylvania where all the towns seem to be named after places in the Middle East. A few years after their mother's death, their father also dies in a car crash after a student prank goes wrong.
Wednesday, 14 December 2022
Hakawatis: Women of the Arabian Nights
Metamorphoses, another winter's evening of adult - sometimes very adult - storytelling by candlelight at the Swanamaker. This time it's Hannah Khalil's take on the 1001 Nights, which she reimagines as much less of a one-woman show than it's usually seen as. For Hakawatis: Women of the Arabian Nights, Rosa Maggiora's set is a dungeon, comparatively comfortable with piles of cushions and plates of fruit but a prison nonetheless, where four women have been kept for so long they've lost track of time. When they're joined by a fifth, Fatah the Young (Alaa Habib,) they have to break it to the teenager that the marriage she's been preparing for isn't all it seems: When the King's first wife cheated on him, he vowed revenge on all women. He takes a new wife every night, and after some no-doubt-entirely-consensual sex, murders her. The plan is to eliminate every unmarried woman in his kingdom, and he's nearly done.
Monday, 12 December 2022
Wickies: The Vanishing Men of Eilean Mòr
in the very loosest possible sense by A Christmas Carol, it's Park Theatre's Scottish take on the traditional Christmas ghost story. But Paul Morrissey's Wickies: The Vanishing Men of Eilean Mòr takes its inspiration from a very real mystery: In 1900, three lighthouse keepers vanished without trace from the Flannan Isles, a particularly remote and dangerous part of the Outer Hebrides. Morrissey's play is only the latest in a long tradition of poems, stories and songs that have taken the mystery into the realms of folk legend.
Saturday, 10 December 2022
A Christmas Carol-ish... by Mr Swallow
Thursday, 8 December 2022
Theatre review: Orlando
Wednesday, 7 December 2022
Theatre review: Kerry Jackson
Thursday, 1 December 2022
Theatre review: Othello (National Theatre / Lyttelton)
Posted by nick730 at 23:39 2 comments:
Labels: Benjamin Grant, Chloe Lamford, Clint Dyer, Giles Terera, Jack Bardoe, Michael Vale, Othello, Paul Hilton, Pete Malkin, Rory Fleck-Byrne, Rosy McEwen, Sola Akingbola, Tanya Franks, William Shakespeare
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