mon 06/07/2020

Theatre Features

Immigration riots and the hand of Shakespeare

Jonathan Bate A

It begins on the street, nastily. An immigrant has got his hands on an English woman. Trouble is brewing. Then there is a dispute about money, involving a “Lombard” – the identification originally applied to immigrants from Lombardy in northern Italy, famous for its banking, but it had gradually become a term of abuse for all foreigners engaged in trade or banking, a word bandied around in the same way as “Jew”.


Listed: Who shot/staged/fictionalised JFK?


On 22 November 1963 President John F Kennedy was shot, yoking his name to an ex-marine and sometime defector to the USSR called Lee Harvey Oswald. Everyone old enough to remember is said to know where they were when they heard. As America dealt with its trauma, the conspiracy theories started,and spawned well over 1,000 books. The assassination also became the focus for artists in all art forms - in literature, theatre, film and even music.


Perfect Nonsense: adapting Jeeves and Wooster

David Goodale

“She paused and heaved a sigh of relief that seemed to come straight from the cami-knickers.” Recounted our brother Andy, many years ago……. "A silence ensued." This was not his own observation, but a quote from P.G. Wodehouse, whom neither Bobby nor I had ever read. “I call her a ghastly girl because she was a ghastly girl.” He continued.


Listed: Nights to remember at the National Theatre

Matt Wolf

The National Theatre tonight hosts its 50th-birthday gala, 11 days after the English-speaking theatre's most important and influential address in fact reached the half-century mark. With celebration comes recollection, not least for those of us for whom the brutalist portals of Denys Lasdun's concrete structure have come over the years to seem nothing less than a second home. 


By George: adapting Middlemarch

Geoffrey Beevers

Adapting of 19th-century novels is sometimes looked down on as a kind of “heritage drama”. The assumption is that it is all about the externals, about the costumes and the coach wheels turning. It is certainly not what drew me to George Eliot. It is the quality of her mind: her wit, her intelligence and her compassionate insight.


theartsdesk in Dublin: Noh way

Helen Meany

“Come out to play” is the tagline for this year’s Dublin Theatre Festival, and a great deal of the work presented in the programme manifested suitably playful exuberance. Running over 18 days, and featuring 27 productions, the 56th Festival highlighted the breadth of contemporary theatre and performance from around the world, programmed by artistic director Willie White.


Patrice Chéreau, 1944-2013: a partial view

David Nice

It has to be partial, because out of the 10 opera productions from the iconoclastic French actor-director, who died yesterday of lung cancer at the age of 68, I’ve seen but two, on screen only – but a big two at that – and only three of his 11 films. Yet they all had a tremendous impact, one way or another.


David Frost, giant of the small screen, dies

Jasper Rees

David Frost, who has died at the age of 74, was a character. The obituaries will tour the entirety of his career as swinging young presenter of TW3, as the first transatlantic celebrity of the gogglebox who gave his name to a sugary brand of Kelloggs cereal, and as a lifelong thorn in the side of Peter Cook. Then there was Through the Keyhole and the TV-am cataclysm later followed by his Sunday morning resurrection on the BBC.


Listed: Freudian Analysis

Jasper Rees

Hysteria is back. Terry Johnson’s comedy was written for the Royal Court in 1993, and for its 20th anniversary it is being revived at Hampstead Theatre. It is a homecoming in a sense: the play is set in the Hampstead home of Sigmund Freud, where he receives unexpected visits from Salvador Dalí and a young woman who cannot keep her clothes on. Freud will be played by Antony Sher.


Inside The Machine: taking on Kasparov

Hadley Fraser

The Machine by Matt Charman is about the famous chess match between the then world champion Garry Kasparov and the chess computer, Deep Blue, which took place in New York City in 1997. The match captured the imagination of the general public at the time as perhaps no other chess match has before or since. Kasparov's face was hanging in Times Square and the New York Stock Exchange had the match on its screens.



Advertising feature


A compulsive, involving, emotionally stirring evening – theatre’s answer to a page-turner.
The Observer, Kate Kellaway


Direct from a sold-out season at Kiln Theatre the five star, hit play, The Son, is now playing at the Duke of York’s Theatre for a strictly limited season.



This final part of Florian Zeller’s trilogy is the most powerful of all.
The Times, Ann Treneman


Written by the internationally acclaimed Florian Zeller (The Father, The Mother), lauded by The Guardian as ‘the most exciting playwright of our time’, The Son is directed by the award-winning Michael Longhurst.


Book by 30 September and get tickets from £15*
with no booking fee.

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