wed 29/01/2020

Theatre Features

Measure for Measure to music

Ellie Nunn

West Side Story, Kiss Me Kate, even The Lion King – all have shown us how Shakespeare’s stories can translate into musical form. It’s not hard to see why: the plots provide strong frameworks for adaptation, with central problems to be resolved, protagonists for us to root for, villains to charm us, lovers to pity – they're all there.

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When Hamlet came to a Syrian refugee camp

Matthew Romain

It would have been impossible to go to Syria. Our plan to perform Hamlet in every nation in the world faced its biggest obstacle to date and the Globe producers were left pondering a Plan B. We considered performing in a Syrian embassy - technically Syrian soil - but playing to an audience of delegates would have missed the point a little. More important than the patch of ground we played on was the people to whom we were playing.

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First Person: Writing about the transgender experience

Jon Brittain

My play Rotterdam opens this week at Theatre503 (I’m getting the plug in early). It’s about two women who are in a relationship and how that relationship changes when one reveals that he has always identified as male. Their names are Alice and Adrian, and I first had the idea for them five years ago.

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An Open Book: David Lan

Marianka Swain

This year’s Olivier Awards saw the Young Vic trounce its South Bank neighbours, with Ivo van Hove’s revolutionary A View from the Bridge leading 11 nominations and four wins; the production opens on Broadway next week. It reflects an extraordinary period during which the theatre, originally an offshoot of the National, has grown to become one of Britain’s major creative powerhouses – all under the aegis of South African-born David Lan, artistic director since 2000.

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The restoration of Nell Gwynn

Jessica Swale

I never thought I’d be a writer. Writers are people with something to say, big ideas, agendas. I was a director, through and through. I love working with actors, playing with music and text, thinking in three dimensions. The solitary confinement of a writer’s life filled me with dread.

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First Person: Playing Jane

Madeleine Worrall

I am writing this in the sun after many days on the trot spent from morning until 11 at night in Jane Eyre’s wonderful new home at the National Theatre. During previews we work every day, refining, changing, have a quick dinner break and then perform a preview performance. It’s the culmination of over two years of living with this story, since Sally Cookson first contacted me in late spring 2013 to discuss her plan to turn this extraordinary book into a piece of theatre.

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First Person: Dear Lupin

Michael Simkins

When I got the call enquiring whether I’d like to adapt The Sunday Times Humour Book of the Year Dear Lupin for the stage, the first thing I did was to thank my lucky stars. Dear Lupin: Letters to a Wayward Son is a collection of real letters, written over 40 years, by racing correspondent Roger Mortimer to his wayward son Charlie (christened “Lupin” after Mr Pooter’s disreputable son in Diary of a Nobody).

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Extract: The Time Traveller’s Guide to British Theatre

Aleks Sierz And

Theatre is one of the glories of British culture, a melting pot of creativity and innovation. Beginning with the coronation of Elizabeth I and ending with the televised crowning of the current Queen Elizabeth, our The Time Traveller’s Guide to British Theatre tells the compelling story of the movers and shakers, the buildings, the playwrights, the plays and the audiences that make British theatre what it is today.

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Positive: Introducing a comedy about HIV/AIDS

theartsdesk

Of all the art forms, theatre has been most attentive to the story of HIV/AIDS. Leading the way in America there was Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart (1985) and Tony Kushner’s Angels in America (1991). In the UK the most resonant exploration of the virus’s devastating impact was Kevin Elyot’s My Night with Reg (1994).

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Keeping up with the Joneses

Jasper Rees

Gruff Rhys has called it the Great Welsh Media Gang-Bang. This year everyone who is anyone (who can get funding) has hopped on a plane for Argentina to follow in the footsteps of the 150 Welsh men, women and children who emigrated to Patagonia 150 years ago – broadcasters, musicians, politicians, journalists, comedians.

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★★★★★

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*
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