Friday, October 20, 2017

Of Kith and Kin, Bush Theatre, review - comic but confused gay surrogacy drama by Aleks.sierz

New play about gay parenthood suffers from an identity crisisA new baby is like an alien invasion: it blows your mind and it colonises your world. For any couple, parenthood can be both exal…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 07:12PM
Thursday, October 19, 2017

The End of Hope, Soho Theatre review - initially bold but not quite enough by Katherine Waters

Darkly comic two-hander opens daringly and goes nowhere In David Ireland's new hour-long two-hander – a co-production between Soho Theatre and west London's Orange Tree – two strange…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 05:36AM

The Lady from the Sea, Donmar Warehouse review - Nikki Amuka-Bird luminous in a sympathetic ensemble by David.nice

Ibsen's great human comedy weathers a sea-change from fjord to Caribbean islandWhat a profoundly beautiful play is Ibsen's The Lady from Sea. It stands in relation to the earlier, relat…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 03:36AM
Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Fierce: the Birmingham festival which reaches out to Europe and beyond by Aaron Wright

The new artistic director of the international showcase of live art and performance says what's comingSince its inception in 1997 Fierce, Birmingham’s International Festival of Live A…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 09:36PM

Albion, Almeida Theatre, review – Victoria Hamilton’s epic performance by Aleks.sierz

Doctor Foster writer explores Englishness with enormous metaphoric zealProlific writer Mike Bartlett is the most impressive penman to have emerged in British theatre in the past decade. The …

Linked From The Arts Desk at 08:18PM

Venus in Fur, Theatre Royal Haymarket review - pain and pleasure in a starry two-hander by Marianka Swain

It's Fifty Shades of Auditioning in this tricksy erotic comedy A hit on Broadway, David Ives’s steamy two-hander now boasts Natalie Dormer and David Oakes, well-known for their screen…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 08:18PM
Monday, October 16, 2017

A Woman of No Importance, Vaudeville - Eve Best is superb as a woman scorned by Veronica.lee

Dominic Dromgoole's Oscar Wilde seasons opens with a winnerIn a rather clever wheeze, Dominic Dromgoole, former artistic director of Shakespeare's Globe – who therefore knows a thing …

Linked From The Arts Desk at 08:12PM

David Oakes: 'I haven’t done anything as bad as my characters' by Jasper.rees

The actor stars opposite Natalie Dormer in Venus in Fur. Why is he always exploring the dark side?“He has something of Dillane about him.” Thus Patrick Marber on David Oakes. “I rate h…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 06:04AM
Saturday, October 14, 2017

Beginning, National Theatre review - assured, intimate, but short of surprises by Sam Marlowe

David Eldridge's wry-warm two-hander on the unsexy side of singledom Loneliness: in the age of the digital hook-up and the flaunting narcissism of social media, it’s become a strange …

Linked From The Arts Desk at 03:24AM
Friday, October 13, 2017

The Seagull, Lyric Hammersmith review – is Lesley Sharp's Irina a sex addict? by Ismene.brown

Chekhov's classic bird updates entertainingly, even if lopsidedly, as a play for todayThe awful mother, the celebrity-obsessed teenager, the mediocre old writer who wants some young sex…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 02:33PM

The Busy World Is Hushed, Finborough Theatre review - new play puts the G-word centre stage by Jenny Gilbert

Religious faith, family tragedy and gay love make an unholy trinity in this European premiereGod makes few appearances at the modern playhouse – so few that the Finborough Theatre saw fit …

Linked From The Arts Desk at 05:54AM
Thursday, October 12, 2017

Young Frankenstein review - Mel Brooks musical is blissfully bonkers by Matt.wolf

Broadway misfire finds chuckles aplenty, and a heart, at the Garrick TheatreWhat a difference an ocean and a change of scale can make. When I saw the Mel Brooks musical Young Frankenstein on…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 05:33AM
Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Saint George and the Dragon, National Theatre review – a modern folk tale in the Olivier by Heather Neill

England’s patron saint travels through time to demonstrate changing views of heroismBold and fearless are adjectives that might describe playwright Rory Mullarkey as accurately as any chiv…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 10:48PM

'I come from there': how the Royal Court brought home plays from Ukraine, Chile and Syria by Elyse Dodgson

The Court's international director explores the roots of this autumn's international seasonThe autumn season of plays at the Royal Court leads with international work. B by Guiller…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 06:33AM
Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Nikki Amuka-Bird interview: 'There’s huge enthusiasm among actors of colour' by Heather Neill

Ibsen hits the Caribbean in The Lady from the Sea at the Donmar. Its star explainsNikki Amuka-Bird spent the summer in Antigua, swimming and scuba diving and could have claimed to be working…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 04:33AM
Monday, October 9, 2017

Victory Condition, Royal Court review - Ballardian vision of the contemporary by Aleks.sierz

New two-hander is a stylized account of a nihilistic realityWhat does it mean to feel contemporary? Feel. Contemporary. According to theatre-maker Chris Thorpe, whose new play Victory Condit…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 08:33PM

Heisenberg: The Uncertainty Principle, Wyndham’s Theatre, review – paradoxically predictable by Aleks.sierz

Anne-Marie Duff and Kenneth Cranham in unconvincing rom-comPlaywright Simon Stephens and director Marianne Elliott are hyped as a winning partnership. Their previous collaborations include T…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 05:54PM
Sunday, October 8, 2017

The Lie, Menier Chocolate Factory review - fake news, real feeling by Marianka Swain

The war on facts takes marital form in Florian Zeller's comedyA year after premiering acclaimed French playwright Florian Zeller’s The Truth, London’s Menier Chocolate Factory now h…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 07:48PM
Wednesday, October 4, 2017

h.Club 100 Awards 2017: The Winners by The Arts Desk

News from The Hospital Club's annual awards for the creative industries, plus theartsdesk's Young Reviewer of the Year At a festive ceremony on Tuesday night at The Hospital Club i…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 05:18AM
Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Labour of Love, Noël Coward Theatre, review – Martin Freeman and Tamsin Greig labour in vain by Aleks.sierz

Comedy about Labour Party history is starry, but tediously overblownProlific playwright James Graham aspires to be nothing if not timely. His latest, a play about the Labour Party, was origi…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 07:42PM
Monday, October 2, 2017

B, Royal Court review - intriguing, ironical, but flawed by Aleks.sierz

New Chilean play about terrorism is satirical, but ends up non-committalIn the 1960s, we had the theatre of commitment; today we have an attitude of non-committal. Once, political playwright…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 08:24PM
Sunday, October 1, 2017

'First read-throughs have magic': Simon Stephens on Heisenberg: The Uncertainty Principle by Simon Stephens

The playwright describes the first day of rehearsal of a new play produced by a new companyAll theatre workers have a day that they dread. For actors there is a particular terror about a fir…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 05:24AM
Saturday, September 30, 2017

After the Rehearsal/Persona, Toneelgroep Amsterdam, Barbican - van Hove reconfigures Bergman by David.nice

Two dramas about acting and being, illusion and reality, form an inseparable wholeThree tall orders must be met in any successful transfer of an Ingmar Bergman text from screen to stage. Fir…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 05:18AM

'I’d never written a play as a single action before': David Eldridge on Beginning by David Eldridge

The playwright explores the gestation of his new play for the National TheatreMy friend, the playwright Robert Holman, says that the writing of a play is always “the product of a moment”…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 05:18AM
Friday, September 29, 2017

Young Reviewer of the Year Award: the four finalists are... by The Arts Desk

Announcing the shortlist of our critics' competition, with extracts from each entryIn July we launched a competition in association with The Hospital Club to unearth talented young crit…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 04:04AM
Thursday, September 28, 2017

Jane Eyre, National Theatre – a dynamic treatment that just misses by Jenny Gilbert

Athletic adaptation of Charlotte Brontë's novel doesn't quite flySometimes you go to the theatre and in the first 10 minutes are convinced that the production is going to smash it…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 09:18PM
Saturday, September 23, 2017

Wings, Young Vic review - Juliet Stevenson goes high and low by David.nice

Arthur Kopit's poetic drama about post-stroke aphasia and facing up to death astoundsNow look here, Giles Coren: immersion in a great play well acted can send you out of the theatre fee…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 03:42AM
Friday, September 22, 2017

Ramona Tells Jim, Bush Theatre, review – kooky, teenage heartbreak by Aleks.sierz

Heartwarming new play about young love is good fun, if a bit slenderLocation, location, location. Jim thinks he lives in the “shittiest” small town in Scotland. It’s Mallaig, on the we…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 06:48PM

Trouble in Mind, The Print Room review - Tanya Moodie is a treat to watch by Tom.birchenough

Alice Childress’s groundbreaking 1955 drama played with panache Truth is pursued in different ways in Alice Childress’s groundbreaking 1955 Trouble in Mind, and its play-within-a-play s…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 12:42PM
Wednesday, September 20, 2017

We're Still Here, National Theatre Wales review - powerful protest and heartfelt theatre-making by Dylan Moore

Port Talbot steelworkers take a stand against the ravages of global capitalismPort Talbot (population 38,000) is a town on the south Wales coast famous for two things: steel and actors. The …

Linked From The Arts Desk at 05:12AM
Monday, September 18, 2017

Oslo, National Theatre review - informative, gripping and moving by Aleks.sierz

Award-heavy American play about the Oslo Accords is highly entertainingDocumentary theatre has a poor reputation. It’s boring in form, boring to look at (all those middle-aged men in suits…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 08:18PM