All stories by Alfred Hickling on BroadwayStars

Friday, December 21, 2018

Berwick Kaler: my 40 years as a panto dame – and Gary Oldman's cat catastrophe by Alfred Hickling

After four decades of festive fun in York, the actor and writer is hanging up his frock and hobnailed boots. He looks back at the Theatre Royal’s panto family‘I must say I never expected…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:54AM
Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Angus, Thongs and Even More Snogging – review by Alfred Hickling

West Yorkshire Playhouse, LeedsFor anyone who has neither been, nor parented, a teenage girl over the past 10 years, Georgia Nicholson is the creation of teen fiction author Louise Rennison,…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 04:12AM
Saturday, May 26, 2018

Theatre: Ritual in Blood by Alfred Hickling

Nottingham Playhouse Rating: *****Little Hugh of Lincoln was a 13th-century cause célèbre. The young boy's disappearance inflamed the anti-Semitism of the Christian com…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 01:04AM
Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Translations – review by Alfred Hickling

Crucible, SheffieldAn exemplary revival of what may be Brian Friel's greatest play makes a fine centrepiece to this season of his workBrian Friel's 1980 drama was born from twin impulses: th…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 04:54AM
Wednesday, April 18, 2018

David Copperfield – review by Alfred Hickling

Octagon, BoltonDickens singled out David Copperfield as his "favourite child". It's no coincidence that the book was also Freud's favourite work of fiction – Dickens's autobiographical cre…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 01:36AM
Saturday, October 28, 2017

To Kill a Mockingbird – review by Alfred Hickling

Theatre Royal, YorkThe Touring Consortium was established in 1996 to produce curriculum-based drama, during which period it has presented To Kill a Mockingbird no less than three times. Thou…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 12:42PM
Thursday, May 11, 2017

Richard III review – Mat Fraser proves a brilliant villain for Northern Broadsides by Alfred Hickling

Hull Truck theatre Swerving between charm and disgust in a dark, disturbing production, Fraser creates a sense of a man bitterly aware that he will never fit inTwenty-five years ago, a stran…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:48AM
Monday, May 8, 2017

Mat Fraser on playing Richard III: 'I'd begun to feel like yesterday's cripple' by Alfred Hickling

He’s staged Thalidomide! A Musical, stormed American TV and starred in an explicit fairytale with his wife. Now, Mat Fraser is raising hell as Shakespeare’s royal villain – without the…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 02:18AM
Friday, May 5, 2017

Stand Up Stand Up review – neurotic comic meets burly bailiff in Jim Cartwright's caper by Alfred Hickling

Theatre Royal, WakefieldThe writer launches his touring company with a new play blending the gentle hilarity and northern baroque he has made his ownA standup comedian and a debt collector w…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 10:02AM

The Graduate review – here's to Mrs Robinson and the strange, seductive 60s by Alfred Hickling

West Yorkshire Playhouse, LeedsTerry Johnson’s adaptation, directed by Lucy Bailey and starring Catherine McCormack, captures the dubious sexual politics and superficiality of the eraThe m…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:12AM
Friday, April 28, 2017

How My Light Is Spent review – Newport life becomes as strange as Under Milk Wood by Alfred Hickling

Royal Exchange, ManchesterAnxieties over loneliness and zero-hours contracts take an eerily real form for the characters in Alan Harris’s lyrical two-handerJimmy, who is 34 and lives with …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 11:31AM
Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall review – border collie steals show in dogged Brontë drama by Alfred Hickling

Theatre Royal, YorkA flashing-eyed performance from Phoebe Pryce is undermined by a too-literal production featuring a roaring fire – and a real canine co-starBranwell Brontë’s gift to …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 11:36AM

Forty Years On – review by Alfred Hickling

Theatre Royal, YorkOriginally produced in 1968, Alan Bennett's first full-length stage play is not, strictly speaking, a play at all, but an old-school revue set in a very old school. The mi…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 03:42AM
Friday, April 21, 2017

Twelfth Night review – drunken debauchery topped off with a traffic cone by Alfred Hickling

Royal Exchange, ManchesterOpera director Jo Davies’ musical mastery shines through in a production made all the more absorbing by its gender-fluid castingGender fluidity is in vogue for Tw…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 11:18AM
Thursday, April 13, 2017

Flood: Abundance review – Hull stages a windswept maritime mystery by Alfred Hickling

Victoria Dock, HullAs a feat of logistics, this thrilling odyssey played out on water looks likely to be a highlight of Hull’s year as UK City of CultureWhen the waters rise, Hull may be t…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:18AM
Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Paul Auster on City of Glass on stage: 'This goes beyond the realms of my imagination' by Alfred Hickling

No one thought his metaphysical thriller could work as a play. But technology has made it possible. We meet Paul Auster as he takes a VR trip inside his own head – and recalls what he lear…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 03:12AM
Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Betrayal review – rotating show puts Pinter's lovers in a spin by Alfred Hickling

Derby theatreThe spartan flat used for an affair becomes a squash court in Lekan Lawal’s overthought, revolving staging of this misogynistic 1978 playAdultery was a lot simpler back in 197…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:18AM
Friday, March 17, 2017

John Malkovich: ‘Politics has gone through a portal into an alternate universe’ by Alfred Hickling

After musical dramas featuring a serial killer and a notorious libertine, the actor returns to the stage as a tyrant. He talks about playing sociopaths and why he gave up votingAccording to …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 06:12AM

Yank! review – gay love story is an ode to courage under fire by Alfred Hickling

Hope Mill, Manchester The crusading off-Broadway musical, billed as ‘the show Rodgers and Hammerstein never wrote’, gets its UK premiereAs a venue specialising in new and rarely performe…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 03:54AM
Saturday, March 11, 2017

Romeo and Juliet review – hot, hormonal inner-city tragedy by Alfred Hickling

West Yorkshire Playhouse, LeedsKids film brawls on their mobile phones and flower memorials litter the set in an astonishing production that captures the play’s sense of futilityWest Yorks…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 05:32AM
Saturday, March 4, 2017

Amédée review – Josie Lawrence and Trevor Fox take corpsing to another level by Alfred Hickling

Birmingham Rep A dysfunctional couple do battle with a body in their bedroom in Sean Foley’s off-kilter adaptation of Ionesco’s comedyAmong Eugène Ionesco’s full-length absurdist dram…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 05:18AM
Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Leaving review – unique view of care-home teens stepping into adulthood by Alfred Hickling

Northern Stage, Newcastle upon TyneThis moving verbatim piece about young people in care shows playwright Paddy Campbell’s fine ear for absurdity Paddy Campbell’s first plays, Wet House …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 03:42PM
Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Ashes review – an honest look at a couple's failure to conceive by Alfred Hickling

Octagon, BoltonDavid Thacker revives David Rudkin’s rarely performed 1970s play about an infertile Ulsterman and his English wifeDavid Rudkin is a major figure in postwar British theatre w…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 12:36PM
Saturday, February 25, 2017

Eric Idle's The Owl and the Pussycat review – a Python primer for kids by Alfred Hickling

Belgrade theatre, CoventryThis musical adaptation of Idle’s take on Edward Lear’s much-loved poem is a hummable defence of the spirit nonsenseMy nine-year-old goddaughter, Maya, has a qu…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 06:06AM
Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Hedda Gabler, This is Not a Love Story review – Hedda get your gun by Alfred Hickling

Northern Stage, Newcastle As the heroine of Ibsen’s psychodrama, a pistol-packing Victoria Elliott rages against corseted constriction in Selma Dimitrijevic’s adaptationThe fashion for H…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:12AM
Sunday, February 12, 2017

Dr Frankenstein review – Mary Shelley's creation mothers a fine monster by Alfred Hickling

Northern Stage, NewcastleDr Victoria Frankenstein is the gender-switched, life-creating star of Lorne Campbell’s radical and illuminating gothic rebootThe year is 1831: debarred from atten…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 10:03AM
Thursday, February 9, 2017

Pygmalion review – Higgins the hipster bleeps Shaw into the 21st century by Alfred Hickling

West Yorkshire Playhouse, LeedsUpdated to a minimalist live/work space full of digital sound manipulation, Sam Pritchard’s production plays on the pain of judging people by how they speakN…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:42AM

Cyrano review – Northern Broadsides sniff out a winner by Alfred Hickling

New Vic, Newcastle-under-LymeChristian Edwards makes an absorbing hero in this swaggering adaptation of Rostand’s tale, featuring some brilliant baroque musicNorthern Broadsides has built …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 02:12AM
Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The House of Bernarda Alba review – Hunter is a domestic dictator in anti-fascist classic by Alfred Hickling

Royal Exchange, ManchesterGraeae use British Sign Language to bring new depths to Federico García Lorca’s play, with Kathryn Hunter on vicious formIf ever the time was right for a reappra…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:24AM
Monday, January 30, 2017

Made in India review – surrogacy drama is a race against time by Alfred Hickling

Belgrade, CoventrySatinder Chohan’s compelling play about a woman desperate to become a mother draws intense performances from its castWhen Satinder Chohan commenced work on a drama set in…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:24AM
Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Educating Rita review – Willy Russell's Pygmalion story still broadens the mind by Alfred Hickling

Octagon, BoltonJessica Baglow is radiant as the gobby but intellectually insatiable hairdresser who spars with her boozy Open University lecturerIf one thing has altered in the 37 years sinc…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:12AM

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