Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Kid Stays in the Picture, Royal Court, review – ‘sad, bad and sprawling’ by Aleks.sierz

Cut! Simon McBurney muddles the story of Hollywood mogul Robert EvansThe beauty of fiction is that its stories have both compelling shape and deep meaning – they are dramas where things fe…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 08:48PM
Tuesday, March 21, 2017

An American In Paris, Dominion Theatre by Jenny Gilbert

Christopher Wheeldon's staging of the movie is the most glamorous escape in townWhat’s in a yellow dress? Hope over experience? Reckless confidence? This is a legitimate question when…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 09:06PM

Love in Idleness, Menier Chocolate Factory by Tom.birchenough

Eve Best shines in wartime Rattigan rarity which riffs on 'Hamlet'What's in a name? Terence Rattigan’s Love in Idleness is a reworking of his 1944 play Less Than Kind (never stag…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 11:18AM
Saturday, March 18, 2017

Roman Tragedies, Toneelgroep Amsterdam, Barbican by David.nice

Acting becomes being in Ivo van Hove's six-hour Shakespeare epicIt felt good to be encountering Shakespeare at his most political with a world event to smile about, for once (hailing, o…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 05:24AM
Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Stepping Out, Vaudeville Theatre by Veronica.lee

Maria Friedman's revival of frothy comedyRichard Harris's award-winning comedy about a group of seven women and one man who attend a weekly tap-dancing class in a dingy north London chu…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 07:36PM
Monday, March 13, 2017

A Dark Night in Dalston, Park Theatre by Aleks.sierz

Michelle Collins stars in haunting account of belief and lonelinessMichelle Collins, actor and TV presenter, is so strongly associated with her roles in EastEnders and Coronation Street that…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 07:48PM

The Miser, Garrick Theatre by Tom.birchenough

Molière at full throttle: Griff Rhys Jones and Lee Mack excelTrimmings, trimmings, trimmings. They prove the final straw for Molière’s Harpagon in this new production of the classic Fren…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 05:18AM
Sunday, March 12, 2017

Romeo and Juliet, West Yorkshire Playhouse by Graham.rickson

Shakespeare with smartphonesAmy Leach’s energetic Romeo and Juliet is fast, furious and a little breathless, the setting transposed from Verona to a fairly grim contemporary Leeds. Think W…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 10:18PM
Saturday, March 11, 2017

CD: Mary Ocher - The West Against the People by Joe.muggs

Berlin based avant-pop songwriter has enough pop to balance the avantOK, the title could be offputting, suggesting as it does the crassest of adversarial politics. But this record is somethi…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 07:54PM

'Backstabbing, betrayal and love': Ryan Craig on Filthy Business by Ryan Craig

The birth of a very personal new work at Hampstead Theatre about a small family business The monster has come alive and there’s nothing I can do to stop it. Thirteen actors playing three g…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 07:54PM
Friday, March 10, 2017

My Country; A Work in Progress, National Theatre by Aleks.sierz

The poet laureate’s verbatim play about Brexit sinks into banalityOh dear. The first explicit play about Brexit is being staged by the National Theatre in a production that has all the acr…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 06:54PM
Thursday, March 9, 2017

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Harold Pinter Theatre by Heather Neill

Humour and vitriol contend in a tightly orchestrated production of Albee's celebrated playMartha is described in the script of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? as "a large, boisterous wo…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 06:54PM

Limehouse, Donmar Warehouse by Aleks.sierz

Docudrama about the 1981 Labour Party split is a treat – for politics buffsPolitics is a serious business, but it’s also a spectator sport. Think of the duels in Prime Minister’s Quest…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 04:42AM

I'm Gonna Pray for You So Hard, Finborough Theatre by Tom.birchenough

Conflicts in a theatre family: sharp writing in a new American two-hander In I’m Gonna Pray for You So Hard, Halley Feiffer has written a right curmudgeon of a central role. David is a suc…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 04:42AM
Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Old Vic by Matt.wolf

Stoppard's breakout play gets a giddy 50th-anniversary revival To the list of abiding theatrical partnerships one must surely add Tom Stoppard and the director David Leveaux.

Linked From The Arts Desk at 06:42AM
Monday, March 6, 2017

A Profoundly Affectionate, Passionate Devotion to Someone (–noun), Royal Court Theatre by Aleks.sierz

New play by debbie tucker green is too abstract for its own goodLove, we know, will tear us apart again. And again. And yet again. It will shred our nerves and rip through our guts; it will …

Linked From The Arts Desk at 05:36PM
Sunday, March 5, 2017

Othello: Tobacco Factory, Bristol by Mark.kidel

Othello as Iago's tale: sex, violence and mysogynyIntimacy is a mixed blessing: Richard Twyman’s close-up exploration of sex and violence in his production of "Othello" for Bristol’…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 08:48PM
Saturday, March 4, 2017

Refugees and referendums: Ramin Gray on staging Aeschylus's The Suppliant Women by Ramin Gray

The second oldest play, adapted by David Greig for the Actors Touring Company, bursts with contemporary resonanceI’m sitting in a rehearsal room in Manchester preparing an Actors Touring C…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 08:36PM
Friday, March 3, 2017

Othello, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse by David.nice

Kurt Egyiawan's Moor takes arms against a sea of production troubles, but in vainThere's no reason why ruffs and candles shouldn't mesh with bursts of contemporary speech, song and ligh…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 04:54AM
Thursday, March 2, 2017

Ugly Lies the Bone, National Theatre by Aleks.sierz

American play about virtual reality therapy is a bit thinTheatre increasingly uses digital delights to enhance audience enjoyment. And you can easily see why. Visual effects that mimic the e…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 05:54PM
Wednesday, March 1, 2017

10 Questions for Director Ellen McDougall by Heather Neill

On directing Othello at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, and taking over at the GateIn a few days' time, Ellen McDougall will become artistic director of the dynamic little Gate Theatre in Notti…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 08:48PM

Hamlet, Almeida Theatre by David.nice

Andrew Scott, predictably unpredictable, is subject to Robert Icke's slow-burn clarityHow often do you leave a production of Shakespeare's most layered drama in tears, thinking "what an…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 04:12AM
Sunday, February 26, 2017

Speech & Debate, Trafalgar Studios by Matt.wolf

Tony winner's first play couples awkwardness and charm There's something to be said for encountering a playwright fresh out of the starting gate. Since his debut play Speech & Debat…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 08:12PM
Friday, February 24, 2017

A Midsummer Night's Dream, Young Vic by Alexandra.coghlan

Shakespeare's comedy gets bogged down in this messy production“The nine men’s morris is filled up with mud, and the quaint mazes in the wanton green for lack of tread are undistingu…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 04:54AM
Thursday, February 23, 2017

Twelfth Night, National Theatre by Alexandra.coghlan

Tamsin Greig leads an superb cast in this giddy take on Shakespeare's classic comedyEverybody’s a little bit gay in in Simon Godwin’s giddy new Twelfth Night at the National Theatre…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 06:54AM

The Girls, Phoenix Theatre by Matt.wolf

The, ahem, ladies do what they can with a show at once overfamiliar and overlong Why? That's the abiding question that hangs over The Girls, the sluggish and entirely pro forma Tim Firth-Gar…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 05:48AM
Wednesday, February 22, 2017

School Play, Southwark Playhouse by Will Rathbone

Debut play makes strong and worthwhile points but lacks depth Hot on the heels of Katherine Soper's award-winning Wish List, about the UK benefits system in crisis, and John Godber's This Mi…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 10:18AM
Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Low Level Panic, Orange Tree Theatre by Aleks.sierz

Neat revival of 1980s feminist comedy is more curiosity than classicThe 1980s were a great decade for British women playwrights. During those Thatcher-dominated years, Caryl Churchill produc…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 07:06PM
Monday, February 20, 2017

The Wild Party, The Other Palace by Marianka Swain

THE WILD PARTY, THE OTHER PALACE Gin, skin and sin in a scorching production of a slight musicalGin, skin and sin in a scorching production of a slight musicalThe Other Palace’s housewarmi…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 08:03PM
Friday, February 17, 2017

See Me Now, Young Vic by Aleks.sierz

Real sex workers take the stage for a brilliantly devised showSex workers come in all shapes and sizes. Everyone knows that. But why do they do it? Why does anyone take the risk of being int…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 06:03PM

Richard III, Schaubühne Berlin, Barbican by David.nice

More or less a one-man show, but the denouement justifies everythingHated the Schaubühne Hamlet (same lead actor, same director as this latest Shakespeare auf Deutsch); loved Ivo van Hove's…

Linked From The Arts Desk at 04:54AM

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