Friday, August 18, 2017

Against, Almeida Theatre review - Ben Whishaw is a modern-day Jesus by Aleks.sierz

New American drama about God and violence is baggy, but often brilliantLuke is a Silicon Valley billionaire, a high-tech wizard. And he’s just had a message from God. And what does God say…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 07:36PM

Edinburgh Festival 2017 reviews: Meet Me at Dawn / The Shape of the Pain / Wild Bore by David Kettle

Grief, loss, unending pain - and critics talking out of their backsides Meet Me at Dawn ★★★★★

Linked From The Arts Desk at 02:06AM
Wednesday, August 16, 2017

King Lear, Shakespeare's Globe - Nancy Meckler's Globe debut is unusually subdued by Alexandra.coghlan

A tragedy so quiet it proves almost inaudible at timesEvery play is a Brexit play. This much we have learnt in the year since the referendum. But in Nancy Meckler’s hands the Globe’s new…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 09:04PM
Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Edinburgh Fringe 2017 reviews: Pike St / Box Clever / Sugar Baby by David Kettle

Comedy, tragedy and a whole lot more at Paines Plough's pop-up RoundaboutPike St ★★★★

Linked From The Arts Desk at 05:18AM
Monday, August 14, 2017

The Majority, National Theatre, review – a minority interest by Aleks.sierz

New play about democracy is entertaining, but a bit too tricksy A new plague is sweeping British theatre: audience participation. Instead of just sitting back and enjoying the show, your vis…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 05:18PM

Christopher Shinn: 'I did not know if I would be alive and someone wanted me to write a play' by Christopher Shinn

The playwright explains the gestation of Against, his new play for the Almeida Theatre starring Ben WhishawPlays do not usually come into being in isolation. When I search my gmail archive I…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 07:36AM
Sunday, August 13, 2017

Edinburgh Festival 2017 review: The Divide by David Kettle

Alan Ayckbourn's vast dystopian fantasy feels cosy rather than alarmingA society that segregates men and women, prescribes what women can learn, read, wear, even which words they can sa…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 01:42AM
Saturday, August 12, 2017

Proms 34 & 35 review: Oklahoma!, John Wilson Orchestra - music triumphs, words and drama suffer by David.nice

Lopsided results in faithful reconstruction of Rodgers and Hammerstein's groundbreakerOnly one thing could equal the wow factor of seeing and hearing a youngish Hugh Jackman launch into…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 05:33AM
Thursday, August 10, 2017

Edinburgh Festival and Fringe 2017 reviews round-up by The Arts Desk

theartsdesk recommends the shows to catch this AugustWondering what on earth to choose between as you tramp the streets of the festival. These are our highlights so far.STANDUPTiff Stevenson…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 05:36AM

Edinburgh Fringe 2017 reviews: Adam / Eve / Nassim by David Kettle

Three compelling shows on identity - gender and otherwise - at the Traverse TheatreEve ★★★★Transgender issues are high on the agenda at this year’s Fringe, with the energetic Test…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 01:36AM
Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Edinburgh Festival 2017: Rhinoceros/ Flight by David Kettle

Zinnie Harris's new verison of Ionesco, and Vox Motus take on the subject of migration 

Linked From The Arts Desk at 04:12AM
Tuesday, August 8, 2017

h.Club 100 Awards: Theatre and Performance - is this a new golden age for the stage? by Matt.wolf

If this is a great era for theatre, it is not only welcome but necessary Could we be inhabiting a new golden age of theatre? It sometimes seems that way, not least in the blurring of boundar…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 05:18AM
Thursday, August 3, 2017

Apologia, Trafalgar Studios, review – Stockard Channing shines bright as a 1960s radical by Aleks.sierz

Broadway legend Stockard Channing dominates this family dramaThe 1960s were “hilarious”, says one young character in this revival, starring Broadway icon Stockard Channing, of Alexi Kaye…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 07:33PM
Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Coming Clean, King's Head Theatre / Twilight Song, Park Theatre reviews - gay-themed first and last plays falter by David.nice

Kevin Elyot's 1982 debut has value, but his swansong should have stayed in the darkLike his smash-hit My Night With Reg, Kevin Elyot's first and last plays have a role to play in the hi…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 05:06AM
Monday, July 31, 2017

Road, Royal Court review - poetry amidst the pain by Matt.wolf

John Tiffany leads Jim Cartwright's debut play towards the sublimeWho'd have guessed that the London theatre scene at present would be so devoted to the numinous? Hard on the heels of G…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 04:48AM
Friday, July 28, 2017

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾, Menier Chocolate Factory review – more than feel-good summer fun by Peter Quantrill

Musical with its finger on the pulse of the 1980s and its heart in the right placeBack in Margaret Thatcher’s middle England, teenagers got by somehow. Without recourse to wands or Ballard…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 06:36AM
Thursday, July 27, 2017

Mosquitoes, National Theatre review - Olivias Colman and Williams dazzle amid dramatic excess by Matt.wolf

Lucy Kirkwood play fusing science and familial disarray is as exhausting as it is enlightening There's enough plot for a dozen plays buzzing its way through Mosquitoes, Lucy Kirkwood's play …

Linked From The Arts Desk at 05:32AM
Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Girl from the North Country, Old Vic review – Dylan songs hit home, the rest is weirdness by Bella.todd

Conor McPherson meets Bob Dylan in the Depression-era dustbowl with disconnected resultsPlays with songs in, or more precisely plays with famous songs in, can feel like the uncanny valley of…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 07:04PM
Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Apollo Theatre review - Sienna Miller lets rip by Matt.wolf

Starry cast lay bare body and soul in Tennessee Williams classic "Maggie the cat is alive: I am alive," or so remarks the feline, eternally frustrated heroine of Tennessee Williams's Cat on …

Linked From The Arts Desk at 04:54AM
Monday, July 24, 2017

Olivia Williams interview: 'Are you on drugs?' 'No I've just spent the day acting' by Jasper.rees

The actress summoned to Hollywood who lived to tell the tale, wittilyOlivia Williams’s first film was, (in)famously, seen by almost no one. The Postman, Kevin Costner’s futuristic flop, …

Linked From The Arts Desk at 03:48AM
Friday, July 21, 2017

Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare's Globe review - swaggering Shakespeare with a comic Spanish accent by Alexandra.coghlan

It's fiesta time in Matthew Dunster's colourful new showWhen I say that Matthew Dunster’s Much Ado is revolutionary I’m not talking about the many textual updatings and rewriti…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 06:12AM
Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Dessert, Southwark Playhouse review - undercooked and overwrought by Matt.wolf

Oliver Cotton's new play, directed by Trevor Nunn, begins well before succumbing to absurdity and hysteria "What is this, Saving Private Ryan?" a character randomly queries well into th…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 05:36AM
Sunday, July 16, 2017

A Tale of Two Cities, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre review - it was the longest of times by Susan Sheahan

Dickens adaptation succumbs to the didacticMuch loved, yes. But Dickens’s novel is probably little read by modern audiences and so a chance to see a new adaptation of this tale of disconte…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 08:04PM
Friday, July 14, 2017

Enter theartsdesk's Young Reviewer of the Year Award by The Arts Desk

In association with The Hospital Club's h.Club 100 Awards, we're launching a new competition to find a brilliant young criticThe Hospital Club’s annual h.Club100 awards celebrate…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 09:42PM

'You win in the end!' Deborah Bruce introduces her play The House They Grew Up In by Deborah Bruce

How a new play at Chichester Festival Theatre was inspired by a conversation overheard in a caféMy inspiration for The House They Grew Up In, my new play at Chichester Festival Theatre came…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 04:54AM
Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Bodies, Royal Court, review – pregnant with meaning by Aleks.sierz

New drama about surrogacy is rich in metaphor and fraught with conflictSurrogacy is an emotionally fraught subject. The arrangement by which one woman gives birth to another’s baby challen…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 06:12PM
Monday, July 10, 2017

Queen Anne, Theatre Royal Haymarket by Alexandra.coghlan

This new history play gets bogged down in period detailHow well do you know your British history? Fancy explaining the causes and origins of the Glorious Revolutions or listing the members o…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 08:24PM
Saturday, July 8, 2017

The Tempest, Barbican Theatre review - sound and fury at the expense of sense by James.woodall

The RSC's tech-powered production of Shakespeare's island play suffers badly after transfer from thrust to prosceniumCan The Tempest open on stage without a tempest – of crashing…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 03:32AM
Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The Mentor, Vaudeville Theatre review - having fun with artistic integrity by Heather Neill

F Murray Abraham crackles as a temperamental playwright German writer Daniel Kehlmann’s light-touch 90-minute comedy is a chic satire on the slippery business of making art – and especia…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 10:32PM

Matthew Dunster on adapting 'A Tale of Two Cities' by Matthew Dunster

Across the centuries: finding contemporary London in Dickens's French Revolution novelWhen you are adapting a novel like A Tale of Two Cities, it's a privilege to sit with a great piece…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 05:04AM
Monday, July 3, 2017

Committee review - We're all on trial in a new Kids Company musical by Marianka Swain

Investigation into the charity's downfall is slickly dramatised at Donmar WarehouseA memorable 2015 parliamentary select committee hearing asked Kids Company CEO Camila Batmanghelidjh a…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 07:24PM