All stories by Mark Fisher on BroadwayStars

Thursday, June 20, 2024

The Importance of Being Earnest review – Algernon et al get a 21st-century makeover by Mark Fisher

Royal Exchange, ManchesterDirector Josh Roche’s new perspective – complete with smartphones, Instagram and Whitney Houston – breathes fresh life into a familiar classic To update Oscar…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:36AM
Monday, June 17, 2024

Dracula: The Bloody Truth review – defanged comedy stretches the joke too far by Mark Fisher

Octagon, BoltonBram Stoker’s novel gets redone in the style of The Play That Goes Wrong, in an energetically performed but ultimately feeble farce We have a cost of living crisis and a bor…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 03:12AM
Sunday, June 16, 2024

Tell Me How It Ends review – 80s-set HIV drama offers a blast of polemical power by Mark Fisher

Everyman, LiverpoolTasha Dowd’s big-hearted play is about a Liverpudlian woman who befriends HIV patients at the height of the Aids crisis, and features a ferocious broadside in favour of …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 03:18PM

Twelfth Night review – if music be the food of love, rave on by Mark Fisher

Shakespeare North Playhouse, PrescotIn this raucous production set at a summer festival, Viola and Sebastian have done too many pills, Sir Toby Belch listens to Arctic Monkeys … and Les De…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 06:36AM
Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Wild Rose: film about Glaswegian country singer to be turned into stage musical by Mark Fisher

The 2018 hit about a cleaner who dreams of becoming a star in Nashville will begin theatre run in Edinburgh Wild Rose, the award-winning movie about a Glasgow country singer, is to be turned…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:18PM

Edinburgh international children’s festival review – sensory magic and complex ideas made fun by Mark Fisher

Various venues, EdinburghFrom a gentle exploration of tubes and spheres to a forthright examination of climate change, immersive puppetry and minimalist narrators, this is mesmerising for fa…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:12AM
Friday, May 24, 2024

The Bounds review – losers are the focus in this story of 16th-century footballers by Mark Fisher

Live theatre, NewcastleStewart Pringle’s play unfolds with wit and abrasive lyricism on the sidelines of a chaotic miles-long pitch, where the action definitely isn’t If you despair at h…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:48AM
Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Neil Gaiman’s Coraline to become ‘dark, spangly’ stage musical by Mark Fisher

Playwright Zinnie Harris and composer Louis Barabbas’s adaptation of the novel will open at Leeds Playhouse and tour in 2025 Neil Gaiman’s award-winning novella Coraline is to be turned …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:12PM
Monday, May 20, 2024

Robin/Red/Breast review – frights and folklore with a mesmerising Maxine Peake by Mark Fisher

Aviva Studios, ManchesterDaisy Johnson adapts a 1970 TV play into a poetic and disturbing exploration of childbirth’s physical and emotional impact John Bowen’s Robin Redbreast is one of…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:02AM
Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Withnail and I review – downtrodden duo return to demand some more booze by Mark Fisher

Birmingham RepA strong cast and a magical set make this more or less word-for-word stage transfer of the cult hit an entertaining tribute piece In 1988, I worked on a listings magazine’s c…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:02AM
Monday, May 13, 2024

Prunella Scales returns to role of Queen Victoria for Edinburgh fringe show by Mark Fisher

The Fawlty Towers actor has often played the monarch in the past and has now recorded audio for a new production at the festival At the age of 91, Prunella Scales has reprised one of her fav…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 04:48AM

Maggie & Me review – Damian Barr’s raw memoir gets an overcooked staging by Mark Fisher

Tron theatre, GlasgowThatcher stalks the stage like an untamed monster, but the rest of Barr’s account of growing up gay in the 80s is sentimentalised and soppy On the page, Damian Barr’…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 03:03AM
Tuesday, May 7, 2024

‘An exceptional experience’: Adrian Dunbar to curate Samuel Beckett festival in Liverpool by Mark Fisher

Line of Duty actor will oversee classic plays as well as new pieces inspired by the Irish author in Beckett: Unbound 2024 Adrian Dunbar is to curate a festival in Liverpool dedicated to the …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 02:48AM
Thursday, April 25, 2024

The Legend of Ned Ludd review – workers stage against the machine by Mark Fisher

Everyman, Liverpool No two performances take the same order as Joe Ward Munrow’s scenes of industrial conflict range across history – led by a machine’s chance decrees A play about mac…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:06AM
Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Baby, He Loves You review – the patriarchal power beneath the perfect wedding by Mark Fisher

Stage@TheDock, HullJodie and Mike are getting married with all the familiar trimmings – wayward stag night, last-night jitters, irritating in-laws – but Maureen Lennon calls out the hidd…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:06AM
Friday, April 19, 2024

Liberation Squares review – polemic comedy about state surveillance by Mark Fisher

Nottingham PlayhouseThree unsuspecting teenagers find themselves under close observation in this satirical swipe at the government’s Prevent strategy The three GCSE students in Sonali Bha…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 06:42AM
Thursday, April 18, 2024

The Girls of Slender Means review – Muriel Spark’s postwar tale told with zingy wit by Mark Fisher

Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh Expertly adapted novel about young women beginning adult life in the wake of the second world war is shadowed by trauma but full of life and merriment We are in tha…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 05:54AM
Thursday, April 11, 2024

James V: Katherine review – romance and religion in the court of a volatile manchild by Mark Fisher

Festival theatre studio, EdinburghCatriona Faint’s witty performance as a pragmatist caught up in fanatical times is the heart of the latest historical drama from Rona Munro’s James Play…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:42AM
Sunday, March 24, 2024

Don’t. Make. Tea. review – the disability benefits interview as Kafkaesque comic nightmare by Mark Fisher

Traverse theatre, EdinburghA former police officer with muscular dystrophy fights a grotesquely bureaucratic system in this subversive satirical broadside It is 2037 and the government has i…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 04:36PM
Friday, March 15, 2024

The School for Scandal review – an overblown attempt at wit by Mark Fisher

Theatre by the Lake, KeswickSeán Aydon’s laboured attempts to shriek the play into life with overstated and almost unintelligible clowning only serves to flatten Richard Brinsley Sheridan…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:24AM
Thursday, March 14, 2024

Richard, My Richard review – less naked villainy, more realpolitik by Mark Fisher

Shakespeare North Playhouse, Prescot In novelist Philippa Gregory’s telling, the much maligned king reveals a more human side amid rather too much exposition If you wanted to invent a fun…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 10:24AM
Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Ladies Down Under review – sisters redrawing life for themselves by Mark Fisher

New Vic, Newcastle-under-Lyme Amanda Whittington’s sequel to Ladies’ Day sends her characters off to Australia for an enjoyable range of epiphanies It is 2007 and the four women who stru…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:12AM
Thursday, March 7, 2024

‘I loved every single word’: tributes to the blistering brilliance of Edward Bond by Mark Fisher

Marianne Faithfull, Simon Callow, Tanya Moodie, Richard McCabe and Sean Holmes remember working with the remarkable British playwright who died on Sunday Sean Holmes, director, The Sea (2000…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 03:32AM
Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Peak Stuff review – teenage ideals take a kicking from capitalism by Mark Fisher

Lawrence Batley theatre, HuddersfieldA superb Meg Lewis plays three characters losing touch with reality in Billie Collins’s play about a market-driven world When ThickSkin announced this …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:18AM
Monday, February 19, 2024

Two Sisters review – a wry look at the perils of nostalgia by Mark Fisher

Royal Lyceum, EdinburghDavid Greig’s entertaining and immaculately performed new play is about adults seduced by memories of their own emotionally heightened teenage pasts Two Sisters smel…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 02:06AM
Sunday, February 18, 2024

Shed: Exploded View review – love, loss and horrific male violence by Mark Fisher

Royal Exchange, ManchesterPhoebe Eclair-Powell’s prize-winning play is about three related relationships which seem increasingly characterised by powerlessness, menace and dislocation Phoe…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 03:12PM
Thursday, February 15, 2024

The Gap review – Denise Welch and Matthew Kelly swing low in 60s Soho by Mark Fisher

Hope Mill theatre, ManchesterJim Cartwright’s riches-to-rags comedy reunites an abrasive northern couple who turned to sex work for survival in a hedonistic London adventure The lust for l…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:54AM
Wednesday, February 14, 2024

A Leap in the Dark review – drama paying homage to the dawn of radio falls flat by Mark Fisher

New Vic, Newcastle-under-LymeRon Hutchinson’s comedy marks 100 years since the first radio play but succumbs to cliches and jarring humour Playwright Ron Hutchinson sets his tribute to the…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:42AM

Animal Farm review – Orwell’s unsettling allegory still resonates in the age of Trump, Johnson and Sunak by Mark Fisher

Octagon, BoltonIqbal Khan’s production lays bare the uncomfortable parallels between a mid-20th century Soviet Union and today’s marauding politicians How George Orwell would despair at …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:42AM
Sunday, February 11, 2024

A Song for Ella Grey review – Orpheus casts a fateful spell over teenage dreamers by Mark Fisher

Northern Stage, Newcastle upon Tyne David Almond’s young adult novel is brought to life in a soulful production that weaves its mythical elements with imagination There are three intangibl…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:42AM
Monday, February 5, 2024

Edinburgh’s Manipulate festival: rubbery robot Swan Lake leads celebration of the unexpected by Mark Fisher

The annual festival of visual theatre delivers an inventive mix of wry commentary, daft puppetry and high-precision performance You can rely on Edinburgh’s Manipulate festival to give you …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:42AM

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