thu 17/08/2017

Royal Court

Road, Royal Court review - poetry amidst the pain

Who'd have guessed that the London theatre scene at present would be so devoted to the numinous? Hard on the heels of Girl from the North Country, which locates moments of transcendence in hard-scrabble Depression-era lives, along comes John Tiffany...

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Bodies, Royal Court review – pregnant with meaning

Surrogacy is an emotionally fraught subject. The arrangement by which one woman gives birth to another’s baby challenges traditional notions of motherhood, and pitches the anguish of the woman who can’t have children herself against the agony of...

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Anatomy of a Suicide, Royal Court review - devastatingly brilliant

Dorothy Parker’s take on suicide is called “Resumé”: it goes, “Razors pain you; Rivers are damp; Acids stain you; And drugs cause cramp. Guns aren’t lawful; Nooses give; Gas smells awful; You might as well live.” Although this seems to cover the...

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Killology, Royal Court review – both disturbing and life-affirming

The monologue is a terrific theatre form. Using this narrative device, you can cover huge amounts of storytelling territory, fill in lots of background detail – and get right inside a character’s head. But the best monologues are those that...

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Manwatching, Royal Court review - the vagina manologues

This monologue first saw the light of day at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2015. It's a frank – very frank – piece about female sexuality by an anonymous heterosexual female author, performed by a different male comic each night, who reads it sight unseen...

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The Ferryman, Royal Court, review - ‘Jez Butterworth’s storytelling triumph’

I hate the kind of hype that sells out a new play within minutes of tickets becoming available. I mean, isn’t there something hideously lemming-like about this kind of stampede for a limited commodity? It almost makes me want to hate the show –...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Playwright Jez Butterworth

Jez Butterworth is back. Even before the critics have uttered a single word of praise The Ferryman, directed by Sam Mendes and set in rural Derry in 1981 at the height of the IRA hunger strikes, sold out its run at the Royal Court in hours. It...

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Nuclear War, Royal Court review - ‘deeply felt and haunting’

Text can sometimes be a prison. At its best, post-war British theatre is a writer’s theatre, with the great pensmiths – from Samuel Beckett, John Osborne and Harold Pinter to Caryl Churchill, Martin Crimp and Sarah Kane – carving out visions of...

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

The beauty of fiction is that its stories have both compelling shape and deep meaning – they are dramas where things feel right and true and real. The trouble with real life is that it’s the opposite: it is messy, frequently shapeless and often...

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A Profoundly Affectionate, Passionate Devotion to Someone (–noun), Royal Court Theatr

Love, we know, will tear us apart again. And again. And yet again. It will shred our nerves and rip through our guts; it will fill us with anguish, and then douse us in regrets. It will expose our weaknesses, and then make us say what we can never...

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Wish List, Royal Court Theatre

You could call it the Corbynisation of new writing. In the past couple of years, a series of plays have plumbed the lower depths, looking at the subject of good people trapped in zero-hour contracts and terrible working conditions. Like Ken Loach’s...

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Best of 2016: Theatre

Life threw numerous, possibly irrevocable curveballs at us all during 2016, which in turn made one even more aware of how lucky we were to find ourselves in the midst of so much sustenance by way of art. Time and again throughout the year, one...

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